Tensions - and rhetoric - escalated on the General Motors-UAW front last week, amid reports that GM is pressing to cut employee health care benefits by month's end.
UAW leaders cautioned GM that taking unilateral action to reduce benefits could destroy joint efforts to improve company operations. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Richard Shoemaker, head of the union's GM Department, cited improvements in worker safety, productivity and vehicle quality resulting from the cooperation.
"It would be a huge mistake for GM to throw all that away by taking any unilateral action on health care benefits or other matters covered by our national agreement," the UAW leaders said.
And GM's end-of-the-month deadline?
"Certainly that's not our deadline," Gettelfinger told The New York Times last week. "We do not have a deadline. We are a key player in this, right?"