A letter from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes to members on Wednesday confirmed progress had been made, as roughly 48,000 union workers picketed outside the automaker’s U.S. plants for the 10th day.
Dittes, within the letter, stated all unsettled proposals are now at the “Main Table and have been offered to General Motors, and we’re awaiting their responses.” He stated the “back and forth will proceed till negotiations are complete.”
Having the entire issues at the “Main Table” and never in subcommittees is typically a sign that a tentative deal might be imminent as long as the talks don’t collapse over any main sticking points. Depending on how far apart the sides are on the problems, equivalent to pay and temporary employees, that might take hours or days, the sources stated.
In response to the letter, GM stated negotiators “proceed to fulfill, and the company’s objective remains to reach an agreement that makes a stronger future for our workers and companies business.”
GM’s use of temporary workers and also keeping plants open which have been slated for closure have been among the main sticking factors, based on people familiar with the talks.
After a proposed deal has been reached, the union has to get the agreement to the GM-UAW worker council, which includes local union leaders, and then to members to approve. That process typically takes two weeks; however, that might be expedited if the union decides to keep workers on strike through the voting.
Ratification of tentative agreements traditionally hasn’t been an issue. However, employees with Fiat Chrysler four years in the past rejected the preliminary deal authorized by UAW leaders which despatched negotiators again to the desk.
Forward of the current negotiations, industry analysts cautioned that the ratification of any agreement might be difficult as a federal corruption probe reaches into the UAW’s highest ranks.
UAW members with GM have been on strike since Sept. 16 after the two sides failed to reach a deal by a Sept. 14 deadline. It’s the union’s first national strike against the automaker since a two-day work stoppage in 2007 and the longest nationwide strike since the 1970s.