UAW Sets Strike Deadline That Is Hours Away
By Brendan Moore
7:45 a.m.: The UAW has told it’s workers to prepare to strike GM today at 11 a.m. EDT. Although Ron Gettlefinger is known for threatening a strike in last hours of contract talks in order to inject extra urgency into the proceedings, union representatives insist the preparations for a strike are underway and that the announcement of the 11 a.m. strike is no bargaining ploy.
The UAW has not struck an automaker for more than twenty years.
This is the press release from the UAW issued at 1:40 a.m. earlier this morning:
Monday, September 24th, 1:40 AM
UAW shocked by GM’s failure to recognize worker contributions,
Sets strike deadline for 11 am on Monday, September 24th
The United Auto Workers announced today that due to the failure of General Motors to address job security and other mandatory issues of bargaining, the union has set a firm strike deadline for 11 am on Monday, September 24th.
“We’re shocked and disappointed that General Motors has failed to recognize and appreciate what our membership has contributed during the past four years,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. “Since 2003, our members have made extraordinary efforts every time the company came to us with a problem: the corporate restructuring, the attrition plan, the Delphi bankruptcy, the 2005 health care agreement. In every case, our members went the extra mile to find reasonable solutions.”
“Throughout this time period,” said Gettelfinger, “it has been the dedication of UAW members that has helped GM set new standards for safety, quality and productivity in their manufacturing facilities. And in this current round of bargaining, we did everything possible to negotiate a new contract, including an unprecedented agreement to stay at the bargaining table nine days past the expiration of the previous agreement.”
“This is our reward,” said UAW Vice President Cal Rapson, director of the union’s GM Department. “A complete failure by GM to address the reasonable needs and concerns of our members. Instead, in 2007 company executives continued to award themselves bonuses while demanding that our members accept a reduced standard of living.”
“The company’s disregard for our members has forced our bargaining committee to take this course of action,” said Rapson. “Unless UAW members hear otherwise between now and the deadline, we will be on a national strike against GM at 11:00 am EDT on Monday, September 24th.
”The UAW negotiating team will remain at the bargaining table, Rapson said, throughout the night and up until the 11:00 am deadline.”
GM officials had no comment on the UAW press release.
We will bring you more developments as we know them.
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