The UAW’s strike is still ongoing, and analysts such as Barclays’ Dan Levy estimate that the profit impact of lost production for the Detroit Big Three is about $40-$60 million per week per automaker. With the UAW seemingly putting its foot down and escalating its strike, General Motors CEO Mary Barra has posted a statement outlining her thoughts on the protests.
Posted on GM’s official website, Barra’s message showed a pervading frustration with the union’s leadership, which the CEO stated was simply raising the rhetoric and theatrics. She also noted that the UAW’s leadership seems intent on dragging its members into an unnecessarily long strike to further their personal and political agenda.
Barra highlighted something that analysts have been emphasizing over the past weeks: the UAW’s ongoing strike is ultimately helping non-union automakers like Tesla. Thus, the GM CEO said, it is pertinent for UAW leadership to come to the bargaining table now so that an agreement can be reached.
Following is Mary Barra’s statement in full.
As we saw this week, UAW leadership continues to expand the strike while upping the rhetoric and the theatrics. It’s clear that there is no real intent to get to an agreement.
Since negotiations started this summer, we’ve been available to bargain 24/7 on behalf of our represented team members and our company. They’ve demanded a record contract – and that’s exactly what we’ve offered for weeks now: a historic contract with record wage increases, record job security and world-class healthcare. It’s an offer that rewards our team members but does not put our company and their jobs at risk. Jeopardizing our future is something I will not do.
By their own admission, the UAW leadership’s plan from the beginning has been to drag their membership into a long, unnecessary strike to further their own personal and political agendas. Their leaked text messages from last week stated their plan to keep us “wounded for months” and cause “recurring reputations [sic] damage and operational chaos.”
It is clear Shawn Fain wants to make history for himself, but it can’t be to the detriment of our represented team members and the industry. Serious bargaining happens at the table, not in public, with two parties who are willing to roll up their sleeves to get a deal done. The UAW is pitting the companies against one another, but it’s a strategy that ultimately only helps the non-union competition.
We need the UAW leadership at the bargaining table with the clear intent of reaching an agreement now. For them to do otherwise is putting our collective future at stake. My job is to build a thriving and successful company for decades to come – one with great products for our consumers built by the best manufacturing team on the planet and supported by an ecosystem of dealers and suppliers, all of whom contribute meaningfully to the economy.
Mary T. Barra
Chair & CEO
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