The letter, by GM executive Gerald Johnson, included previously undisclosed details of GM's latest offer to the union, including plans to increase its investment in U.S. facilities to about $9 billion, up from $7 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. They are also demanding changes to the use of temporary workers, bringing jobs back from Mexico, and the union's demand that GM keep open plants that have been scheduled for closure.
The messages mark a turning point for GM in the fourth week of a strike that's halted production at 34 U.S. plants and disrupted output in factories in Mexico and Canada.
"Our offer commits to thousands of new jobs right here in the USA and billions of dollars in new investments in our communities".
"At every step of the way, GM has attempted to undermine the ongoing, good-faith efforts the UAW has made to end this strike", said the union's statement.
He further wrote that the lack of commitment of GM to the UAW-GM locations has been weighing heavily on all their members who are seeking the best possible contract for the members and their families.
While GM publicly released details of its first formal offer to the union on September 15 â € "the day the UAW announced a walkout â €" the company had kept a lid on public criticism of union leaders, who themselves are dealing with a credible crisis linked to a federal corruption investigation.
The letters both referenced a meeting Wednesday involving GM CEO Mary Barra and union leaders. Analysts have estimated lost production has cost the carmaker at least $1 billion of lost profit, and its credit ratings may be at risk.
Sandefur replied in a letter that GM had expected the union's proposal on Thursday. A new analysis estimates that as many as 100,000 workers have been laid off, face pay reductions or have otherwise been hurt by the lengthening strike against GM. Meanwhile, direct wage losses for all employees have already surpassed $ 400 million and continues to climb.
Reuters previously reported GM told the UAW it could build a new battery plant near the now-shuttered Lordstown, Ohio, factory, and build the electric truck at its Detroit Hamtramck plant. Manufacturing UAW workers in the United States start at $17 an hour and can earn $28 after eight years. So when it comes to ratification of a contract, job security is important to those workers, said a person close to the negotiations.
GM, however, contends that the ball is in the union's court, since they were the last ones to have made a formal offer, on Monday Oct. 7, according to a source close to the company.