Several shuttered GM plants might have been saved under a proposed UAW contract from last weekend.
Last Sunda, 49,000 UAW workers with GM went on strike. Negotiations between the union and General Motors broke down last weekend with the two sides being far apart on issues such as pay, benefits, and profit-sharing. Job security was also a major sticking point after GM announced the closure of four plants across the United States last year.
However, a proposed contract from last Saturday might have saved at least a few of those plants. According to GM sources speaking to Automotive News, the company would have invested $7 billion over four years in 8 facilities and four states, with some of those plants scheduled to close being given new life in electric vehicle production.
GM has plans to bring five new electric vehicles to market by 2023. This includes two Cadillacs, one Buick, and two new Chevrolets. One of those would be a replacement for the Bolt electric hatchback. All will have advanced batteries and be built on a flexible and modular new vehicle architecture that could be used to make EVs of various sizes.
In GM's proposal, one of those new EVs would be built in Orion Township, while the Detroit-Hamtramck plant would be repurposed to build an electric pickup. Hamtramck had been scheduled to shut down early next year.
Although there were no details provided in the report, Lordstown might have been reopened (at least partially) to manufacture batteries. Warren, Michigan's transmission plant would still remain closed.
Given the fact that the UAW was handed the proposal on Saturday but still voted to strike on Sunday, we can safely assume that this proposal did not meet the UAW’s requirements for job security. Or it could be that there were simply too many details left unsaid.
Negotiations continue this week, but there has been no update on progress or if either side has agreed to any major concessions. GM’s inventory was fairly robust heading into the strike, so the company can likely weather a work stoppage for some time before it starts to truly affect inventory levels.