48,000 hourly GM workers are currently on strike as negotiations between the automaker and the United Autoworkers Union broke down Sunday night. Details of the issues between the two entities aren’t fully known, though GM reportedly submitted a strong offer shortly before the strike vote that still wasn’t quite good enough. According to Automotive News, that offer could include revitalizing shuttered GM plants at Hamtramck and Lordstown with EV battery production, and an as-yet unknown future electric pickup truck.
The crux of the proposal involves an alleged $7 billion investment from GM into U.S. facilities, covering eight separate locations in four states. Details of those investments aren’t known, but an unidentified source told AN that much of that investment would include battery production in Ohio and electric vehicle production at two Michigan facilities. GM closed its Lordstown, Ohio facility in the spring of 2019, with its Warren, Michigan transmission plant closing in the summer. The automaker’s Hamtramck, Michigan assembly plant will go silent early next year.
The AN report suggests the Hamtramck plant would get GM’s future electric pickup truck, though a timeframe for when that could happen remains unclear. Possible allocations for the Warren assembly are unknown. As for Lordstown, it’s unclear if the proposal would involve building a new facility or repurposing part of the existing plant. The automaker is currently working on a deal to sell the former Chevrolet Cruze assembly complex to Workhorse, an EV truck startup based in Ohio.
What’s interesting about this current deal – and a possible roadblock for the UAW – is that the $7 billion investment from GM over the proposed four-year contract works out to $1.75 billion per year. According to the AN report, GM has actually invested $8.45 billion a year over the last three years, with much of that staying in North America. Perhaps the UAW is seeking a stronger commitment from the leading U.S. automaker going forward?
In any case, it’s estimated that GM is losing approximately $50 million in earnings per day while its hourly workforce is on strike.