Around 49,000 workers at General Motors plants across the United States have gone on strike after negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the automaker broke down over the weekend.
This is the first nationwide strike against GM since 2007, when the automaker was trying to reduce its pension and healthcare burden as part of an effort to stave off bankruptcy.
According to the union, the main areas of contention are healthcare contributions, pay rises, profit sharing, and creating a pathway for temporary workers to become permanent.
Also at issue are the futures of plants which have been "unallocated" vehicle production.
"We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognises our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable," Ted Krumm, the union's head of bargaining committee, said in a prepared statement.
GM shot back on social media, stating its proposal would create 5400 new jobs across the country, improve the profit sharing formula, and add "autism therapy care, chiropractic care and allergy testing" to its healthcare plan.
The automaker is also offering a signing bonus of US$8000 to UAW members.
According to Automotive News, the company has also offered to turn one of its unallocated plants into a centre for electric pickup truck production, while another shuttered factory would be transformed into a battery production facility.
An earlier proposal to increase workers' healthcare contributions to from around three per cent to roughly 14 per cent has been withdrawn.
Currently only one Holden model, the Acadia, is made in the USA, with the Equinox coming from Mexico, Colorado and Trailblazer hailing from Thailand, the Trax born in South Korea, and the Commodore and Astra built by Opel in Europe.
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