DETROIT -- Contract negotiations between the UAW and General Motors suffered a setback after the union said the automaker essentially rejected its latest offer, providing little hope a national strike, now entering its fourth week, will end soon.
Talks were expected to continue Monday, but neither the union nor the company offered any updates as of mid-afternoon.
Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW-GM department, said Sunday in a letter to members that GM this morning turned down an "extensive package" that addressed all of the union's demands, from wages to profit-sharing. He said the company instead fell back on a previous offer the union already rejected.
"The company's response did nothing to advance a whole host of issues that are important to you and your families," he said.
"It did nothing to provide job security during the term of this agreement. We, in this union, could not be more disappointed with General Motors who refuse to recognize the experience and talent of our membership who make their world class products and billions of dollars in profits."
He said the two sides will continue to talk but noted that negotiations "have taken a turn for the worse."
GM said in a statement: “We continue to negotiate in good faith with very good proposals that benefit employees today and builds a stronger future for all of us. We are committed to continuing discussions around the clock to reach a resolution.”
The UAW’s Saturday offer addressed at least 35 hourly and three salaried proposals, Dittes wrote in a letter to Scott Sandefur, GM’s vice president of labor relations. Dittes said in the letter that GM did not explain why it rejected the UAW’s offer.
“We expect the Company to respond and discuss the package proposal we presented yesterday. The law and basic decency require no less,” Dittes said.
The UAW released the letter to GM later Sunday, following the note to members.
One key issue centers on assembly of future vehicles. The UAW wants GM to make commitments on future products it would build in various plants beyond what has currently been offered, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.
GM officials previously said the Detroit company's labor rates are the highest in the industry and that it needs the ability to build some vehicles in other markets to keep costs down.
The tone of Dittes' letter stands in contrast to a Friday update that noted the sides had made "good progress" on contentious issues such as temporary workers and health care.