UAW-GM negotiations continue on day 12, strikers to get $250 next week

On day 12 negotiations continued between the UAW and General Motors.

For workers picketing during the work stoppage, the issues are dollars and cents. Last Friday was Kenyon Reed's last paycheck.

"I had a nice check last week, this week it's zero," he said.

Striking GM UAW workers will get their first union substitute pay of $250 on Sept. 30th. Union members have to check with their local reps for all the details.

The workers are staying strong.

"I was out pretty much every day just to show the support," Reed said. "For the most part we are just thugging it out."

Healthcare, plant closures, wages and temporary workers still at the heart of this thing.

"They are actually doing a harder job than we are doing, because they are temps," he said. "They have no seniority, they can't take time off, you have to hire this people in. They have families just as well as we do."

"I am surprised it's dragged on this long but the issues are difficult and circumstances confronting the UAW are unusual," said Marick Masters, professor, Wayne State University.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes wrote the "unsettled matters" were on the "main table." in a letter to members Thursday.
Masters says those four big issues we just mentioned - maybe more - are likely what is "most unsettled" so to speak.

What is this so called "main table" Dittes is talking about and who is in the room?

"Higher level UAW officials - that is what it basically means," Masters said. "And higher level corporate officials."

The main table does not include the subcommittees - they have wrapped up, we are told. Those issues are now before the big whigs.

"This is pretty common," Masters said. "It's happened in the past. But I think what makes it different this time around is you have more involvement from the bottom up, so to speak, so the UAW can make sure they'll get their membership to ratify whatever they agree to."

FOX 2: "How are you feeling about the progress of negotiations?"

"It's impossible to know what's going on... we don't know," said Reed.

While there is progress, no one but the people in the room know for sure how close to a deal the two sides are.