DETROIT (FOX 2) - General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra has stepped into contract talks with striking auto workers, asking the union to wrap up outstanding issues and respond to a company offer made this week.
General Motors released a letter to its employees Friday laying out the offer that was presented on Monday. Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson wrote their offer touched on compensation, health care, profit-sharing and bonuses.
"It would increase compensation through wages and lump sum payments, preserve industry-leading health care benefits without increasing out-of-pocket costs, enhance profit-sharing with unlimited upside, and improve the ratification bonus. For temporary workers, our offer also would create a clear path to permanent employment and include a ratification bonus," Johnson wrote.
But in another Thursday letter to GM's top bargainer obtained by FOX 2, United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes wrote that there won't be a response to Monday's offer until committees working issues are finished. He didn't know how long that would take.
Details of a Wednesday meeting between Barra and top union bargainers were disclosed in Dittes' letter. It's an indication that there won't be a quick end to the nearly monthlong strike by 49,000 workers that has halted production at all of GM's U.S. factories.
"We have advised the Union that it’s critical that we get back to producing quality vehicles for our customers."
Both sides are separated on major economic issues such as wages and lump-sum payments and better pensions that will be bargained at the "main table" by top negotiators.
Committees are working on issues such as products for factories that GM wants to close, investments in other U.S. factories, and training for union workers to handle future technology, according to Dittes' letter. They're also haggling over company-paid legal services for union members and the future of a joint UAW-GM training center in Detroit, Dittes' letter said.
Workers walked off their jobs on Sept. 16 after their four-year contract expired. The strike will be a month old on Monday.
An analyst estimates that GM is losing $82 million per day, while workers are having to live on $250 per week in strike pay.
The strike has forced parts supply companies to lay off workers and has made GM close some of its factories in Canada and Mexico.
The Associated Press contributed to this report