LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Union leaders and rank and file line workers at one Lansing area GM plant say they don’t want a strike, they want a contract that will provide better working conditions and restore lost benefits from previous deals.

But with less than an hour before the current contracts with the Ford, GM and Stellantis are set to expire – and trigger a strike – the automakers and workers don’t appear close to a deal. The parties have been negotiating since mid-July, but in the last week talks have accelerated as the automakers as multiple proposals have hit the table.

The Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant, in Delta Township, is a GM facility. It employs more than a thousand members of UAW Local 602.

6 News spoke with Joel Spitz, who is a relative of a 6 News employee, Thursday night. He says many family members have worked for GM before and called it a good job. That job allowed them to build lives and retire, Spitz says.

But that has shifted.

“I walked in the door and shortly after that, it was all taken away,” Spitz says. “I’ve watched it be a regular job.”

Spitz says he liked the job and his co-workers. But the starting pay and limited benefits for new employees is driving people out the door. He says the contract talks keep him hopeful for a better deal.

Those negotiations have spawned multiple proposals. This week Stellantis shared a third offer with the UAW, but details on the offer have not been released.

Ford CEO Jim Farley says their offer is the most lucrative in decades, but says it could placed a financial strain on the company.

Thursday, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra shared a new offer from GM – just hours before the strike deadline.

“We are at a pivotal point in our journey,” she says. “We want to ensure that our company succeeds and more importantly wins for the next hundred years for all of us”

GM’s offer included a 20% wage hike over the course of the contract for most employees at the maximum wage. The path to raising other employees to that same level would decrease by half the current time.

During a 10 p.m. livestream UAW President Shawn Fain said members have been working around the clock for a deal that represents the sacrifices of the employees. He then named three facilities – one in Toledo, Ohio; Wentzille, Missouri and Wayne, Mich. – to strike if the contract expires at midnight without a deal.  
“No matter what, all of us need to keep organizing,” Fain told members.

Fain says the union is using a “stand up” strike strategy, meaning picket lines appear in waves as the list of facilities grows. If there is no deal, Fain says this is the first time the union will hit the picket line against all three of the nation’s auto giants at the same time.