General Motors CEO Mary Barra has now involved herself in negotiations between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union. The chief executive met with union leadership to attempt to nudge talks along as one of the longest strike’s in over 30 years wages on.
Barra met with UAW President Gary Jones and senior union negotiator Terry Dittes on Wednesday at GM world headquarters, where negotiations are happening. Barra was reportedly hoping to move talks along as GM had not gotten a formal response from the union on a proposal in sent to them on Monday.
“There was no secret meeting. There was a meeting (between Barra and Jones and Dittes), and we continue to meet at all levels,” UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said in a Reuters report.
Over 48,000 UAW members have been on strike since Sept. 16th. The strike commenced after talks between GM and the UAW to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement were making little progress. Workers and the union are pushing GM on a host of issues, including wages, health care and the use of temporary workers.
A major sticking point for both parties has been GM’s commitments for future production in the U.S. The automaker has made proposals to reactivate some idled U.S. plants to build electric vehicles, but those commitments have not gone far enough to satisfy union leadership.
Thus far it is estimated that GM has lost about $1 billion from the strike. Meanwhile, UAW members have lost about $624 million in compensation.