The United Auto Workers (UAW), bargaining a new contract for US automakers, is turning to General Motors to set the pattern for wages and benefits for the US industry, said three people familiar with the discussions.
UAW bargainers are seeking a large signing bonus and new work in US factories in exchange for not increasing fixed labour costs at GM, Ford and Chrysler, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as revealing internal discussions. Negotiations at GM are farthest along and will continue through the weekend, the people said.
The union's contracts covering 113,000 workers at GM, Ford and Chrysler expire on September 14. UAW President Bob King still hopes to have deals at all three companies around the deadline, so talks will continue at Ford and Chrysler this week, the person said.
Detroit-based GM is offering buyouts in hopes that senior workers retire, making room for new hires who are paid half as much, said two people familiar with the proposal.