Local GM employees unhappy with letter from auto company

Local GM employees unhappy with letter from auto company

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - General Motors sent a letter Friday to the United Auto Workers union saying it’s “critical” both parties finalize a deal as the strike reaches its fourth week.

Rain or shine, dozens of GM workers in Memphis continued to protest on the picket line at the Memphis Customer Care and Aftersales Center on Pleasant Hill Road.

"We're just standing strong and embracing whatever comes at us, but we're hoping not to be out here much longer,” said Glinder Louis, local UAW President.

The letter written by Gerald Johnson, Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing, says the company presented an offer Monday that he felt achieved mutual objectives for both parties.

“It would increase compensation through wages and lump sum payments, preserve industry-leading health care benefits without increasing out-of-pocket costs, enhance profit-sharing with unlimited upside, and improve the ratification bonus.”

Louis says she’s not buying the letter.

"We would not be out here if they did everything that the letter said which is most of what we had asked for,” she said.

Although Central Tennessee has a large automobile industry, University of Memphis Economics Professor, John Gnuschke, says Memphis could start seeing more local impacts from the strike.

"If there's no solution and the strike goes on for longer and longer periods the workers suffer, the company suffers, the suppliers suffer and their customers suffer," Gnuschke said.

WMC Action News 5 talked to a local auto shop worker who said there have been several times in the last few weeks where GM parts weren't available, and they don't know when they will be again.

Louis and her fellow GM workers say they're hoping both parties come to a solution soon.

“I’m hoping for them to make that statement true because that statement would cover 90-percent of what we asked for.”

The United Automobile Workers Union responded to the GM letter Friday morning.

“It was our members and the American taxpayer who made their own sacrifices to protect this company in its darkest days. It’s time GM stops playing games and starts believing in and investing in the future of our members.”

To read the full UAW letter, click here.

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