The United Auto Workers union launched a nationwide strike against General Motors on Monday as 73,000 UAW members walked off the job and hit the picket lines.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger blasted GM management, saying that the company had not been willing to meet the union part way in negotiations. “This is nothing we wanted,” he said about the strike. “No one benefits in a strike. But there comes a point where someone can push you off a cliff. That’s what happened here.”
Union leaders said they were willing to resume negotiations early Monday afternoon, several hours after the strike started at 11 a.m. As of 2:30 p.m., neither side would confirm that negotiators had returned to the table.
GM was last hit by a strike at its Flint, Mich., locals in 1998, a work stoppage by only 9,200 workers that was felt across most of GM’s North American operations since they couldn’t get the parts they needed to keep making cars and trucks.