UAW talks with GM takes “turn for the worse”

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– The UAW has been on strike for three weeks, and talks don’t seem to be getting closer.

The UAW Vice President, Terry Dittes, sent a letter to members today.

In the letter, Dittes says the UAW proposal that they gave GM addressed issues like wages, job security and pensions. He added that GM responded to the proposal, but did not address their package and offered one that the Union had already rejected and had little change.

Dittes also added in the letter that the Union “could not be more disappointed with General Motors, who refuse to recognize the experience and talent of our Membership.”

At the end of the letter, he added that negotiations have “taken a turn for the worse.”

Randy Freeman is the President of the UAW Local 652 in Lansing. He says he did not expect this kind of response from GM.

“Sounded like they were getting it together, like they were trying to put something together, and they were getting close. And then to find out today that they’re back, away on issues, that we thought were going to get handled, is a little disappointing,” said Freeman.

He added that he still has confidence that negotiators will find some common ground.

“You know they’ll get it done. We have faith they’ll get it done, but it just may take a little bit longer than what we thought,” said Freeman.

The Detroit Free Press reports that health care, as of Saturday, was resolved. A person close to the talks tells them things went south when GM walked back on a proposal regarding temporary workers.

“When you think you’re going to be close and think you’re going to be back to work within a week or so here, and then all of a sudden, see that you’re not, and you’re still far away from some of the main issues, it’s just a little disheartening,” said Freeman.

GM officials sent 6 News this statement earlier today, saying:

“We continue to negotiate in good faith with very good proposals that benefit employees today and build a stronger future for all of us. We are committed to continuing discussions around the clock to reach a resolution.”

General Motors

But as the strike lingers on, Freeman says he’s grateful for the support of the community.

“They’re just putting their arms around us and it’s fantastic. I mean, it’s a good feeling to have everybody supporting us,” he said. “There’s been very few non-supporters. I mean you get that with anything you’re into, but it’s been in my experience, again, I’ve been 41 years doing this, and this is the best feeling I’ve had with people getting around us and supporting us.”

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