DETROIT: The United Auto Workers union began a nationwide strike against General Motors, with some 46,000 members walking off the job after contract talks hit an impasse.
The move to strike, which the Wall Street Journal described as the first major stoppage at GM in more than a decade, came after the manufacturer’s four-year contract with workers expired without an agreement on a replacement.
Local union leaders met in Detroit “and opted to strike at midnight on Sunday,” the UAW said on its Twitter account.
“This is our last resort,” Terry Dittes, the union’s lead negotiator with GM, told a news conference after the meeting. “We are standing up for the fundamental rights of working people in this country.”
UAW officials said the two sides remained far apart in the contract negotiations, with disagreements on wages, health care benefits, the status of temporary workers and job security.
“Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly,” Ted Krumm, chair of the UAW’s national bargaining committee, said in a statement.
“We are standing up for what is right,” Krumm said.
Hours before the strike began, US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Here we go again with General Motors and the United Auto Workers. Get together and make a deal!”