GM agrees to resume covering health insurance costs for striking workers

The New York Times Strikers at the Fisher Body plant greeting friends outside after defying a court injunction ordering the factory vacated

The New York Times Strikers at the Fisher Body plant greeting friends outside after defying a court injunction ordering the factory vacated

GM faced widespread backlash when, three days after early 50,000 union workers walked off their jobs on the night of September 15, starting a nationwide strike at General Motors, the company said it would cease paying the costs of workers' healthcare, effectively shifting the costs instead of to a union fund. It is not clear if striking members would go back to work, which has been past tradition, or remain on strike until a ratification vote is complete.

The union, however, has pushed back hard and even before the strike the UAW's secondary leadership, which is made up of local union president and committeemen, were saying they expected the negotiations to address the issues.

"We are still working", said UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg, adding that talks would continue into the weekend.

Thus far, GM and UAW have failed to agree on increasing employee wages and reopening idled plants such as the one located in White Marsh. "This is probably a couple people from each side are going to hammer out the final economics".

General Motors has reversed course and agreed to resume paying health insurance costs for striking workers, as union sources tell ABC News Friday that a deal is not likely to be reached before the week is up.

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Both sides are losing money, with one analyst estimating the strike costs GM $100 million in profits per day.

The strike by about 49,000 workers, in its 10th day, has halted production at more than 30 GM factories nationwide.

"Finally, a week after terminating benefits, you write me a letter dated Wednesday, September 25, 2019, and received on Thursday, September 26, 2019, stating, 'GM has chosen to work with our providers to keep all benefits fully in place for striking hourly employees'". Companies that make parts for factories also are starting to lay off workers.

Strikers say they are fighting for fair wages, job security and strong benefits.

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