DETROIT (AP) — Talks between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union hit a snag Tuesday over what the union says is a lack of commitment by GM to build new vehicles in U.S. factories.
In a letter to members, union Vice President Terry Dittes wrote that the union has told GM that it doesn’t see a commitment from the company to a workforce that has helped make it billions of dollars.
“We believe that the vehicles GM sells here should be built here,” Dittes wrote. “There is no job security for us when GM vehicles are made in other countries for the purpose of selling them here in the U.S.A.”
GM did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.
Although both sides were still talking, the union demand could be a major sticking point because GM produces pickup trucks and several SUVs in Canada, Mexico, China, South Korea and other countries, and imports them to the U.S.
Dittes wrote that GM’s alleged lack of commitment is one of the union’s top priorities in talks to end the strike, but little progress has been made.
“Economic gains in this agreement will mean nothing without job security,” Dittes wrote, adding that the union is fighting for a middle class way of life.
In the past GM has said it has invested over $23 billion in U.S. factories since 2009, and has created more than 2,000 U.S. jobs so far this year. GM’s U.S. factories built about 2 million vehicles last year, including 300,000 that were exported.
Just before the strike began Sept. 16, GM said it offered $7 billion worth of U.S. factory investments resulting in 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees. GM would not give a precise number.