UAW fights back, issues formal challenge against GM

The UAW is ready to fight back against General Motors' plan to stop production at four U.S. factories, including the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly and the Warren transmission plants. The UAW says GM is violating part of its collective bargaining agreement. 

Last week, the automaker announced it plans to cut nearly 15,000 jobs and "unallocate" the plants. The UAW says it will use all of its resources to ensure some future for the facilities. 

WWJ automotive reporter Jeff Gilbert says the issue may not be settled until this time next year. 

"Because negotiations between GM and the UAW don't start until this summer and, not only is this going to be a major part of those negotiations but GM has two other plants in Michigan, Lansing Grand River up in Lansing and also the Orion plant that are on one shift. So, you can see them going into the talks with the UAW saying something along the lines of, 'Look we can get you additional investment at those plants if you agree to the closing of these plants or maybe one of these plants," he said. 

Michigan lawmakers are set to meet with GM CEO Mary Barra later this week about the restructuring. 

Meanwhile, city leaders are also concerned about the impact the closurse would have. 

"We're talking about when you add all of the pieces together, we're talking about probably a million dollars a year," says Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski. "For a city our size, that's substantial. You know, that's police, that's fire, that's work being done on our streets, our sidewalks, our alleys - all the things that make our city livable and viable."

Businesses frequented by plant workers would also suffer. The Motor City Bar and Grill in Hamtramck is one of them.

The owner, Nik Nuculaj, worked in the auto industry for 20 years and says workers at Detroit Hamtramck were stunned when they got news of GM's plan. He says that will cut probably about 15-20 percent of his business. 

GM says the move to "unallocate" plants is a part of a multi billion dollar cost saving measure, crafted in 2015 to strengthen the company's core business.