GM CEO Barra joins bargaining talks in bid to end UAW strike

GM CEO Barra joins bargaining talks in bid to end UAW strike”

General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined negotiators at the bargaining table, an indication that a deal may be near to end a monthlong strike by the United Auto Workers union that has paralyzed the company's factories.

CEO Mary Barra and GM President Mark Reuss joined the talks this morning with UAW President Gary Jones and Vice President Terry Dittes.

A union demand that all vehicles sold in the built here apparently has been resolved, but terms are unknown.

On July 16, contract talks to negotiate a new four-year collective bargaining agreement began between GM and the UAW. That figure is unchanged in the final agreement, a person briefed on the matter said. If they approve it, then this group would also decide if workers would put down picket signs and go back to work. The UAW made a counter offer to GM on Friday. The UAW has been out on strike since September 16.

GM shares reversed declines and rose as much as 2.3 per cent to US$36.31 on Tuesday. A deal will likely be announced on Wednesday.

General Motors Co has missed out on about US$2 billion of earnings as a result of the United Auto Workers walkout, which will cost striking workers about US$2,000 of profit sharing, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated.

The strike has also seen production at two plants in Mexico halted.

The longest nationwide strike against a Detroit automaker since 1970 became a political event. The strike immediately silenced about 30 GM factories in the US and has brought down two plants in Mexico and one in Canada.

If there's an agreement, the strike would not end immediately. Other issues on the table included the fate of plants GM has indicated it may close, and the use of temporary workers.

Also, a ratification signing bonus that has been increased from $8,000 to $9,000 for each worker. How long they were involved isn't clear, but what is certain is that two sides are making progress toward a new four-year contract. A group affiliated with electric truck maker Workhorse Group had proposed acquiring the Lordstown plant.

Also at issue are the union's drive for sweeter retirement benefits.

The meeting will be held in the Detroit building where GM is based, Reuters reported on Monday.

Negotiations between the United Automobile Workers union and General Motors continue. The UAW previously agreed to temporary contract extensions with both automakers while it focused on GM.

This year's talks have been overshadowed by a widening federal investigation into corruption at the union. The two sides are allegedly close to deal.

Union leaders said the rewards of GM's recovery from its 2009 bankruptcy had not been shared fairly. The stock is down about 6 percent since the strike began.

After initially trying to cut health care costs, GM has agreed to keep benefits and payments the same as they are now.

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