Unifor president Jerry Dias told BNN Bloomberg Monday the strike, which saw almost 50,000 USA workers walk off the job Sunday, will also likely impact GM operations in both Canada and Mexico.
In the letter dated Sunday, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes told GM's labor relations chief that the latest offer could have made it possible to reach an agreement and avoid the strike. Workers say they want fair wages, affordable health care, their share of profits and job security.
Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the USA planned to strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume.
Union contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler were also due to expire, but have been extended indefinitely.
The union has picked GM as the target company, meaning it is the focus of bargaining and would be the first company to face a walkout. Steep discounts were offered to consumers this summer to sell the remaining cars and hatchbacks.
This is the first UAW national strike since a two-day walkout in 2007.
On the other side, GM expects union employees to share more health care costs, increase productivity, and be more flexible in GM's 12 remaining USA factories and 22 parts plants. "We are fighting for the future of the middle class", he said.
Prior to the call for a strike, GM bulked up its stock on trucks and SUVs just in case. Meanwhile, GM's Oshawa assembly plant, which is set to close at the end of this year, relies on products from the U.S.
The automaker also offered to open an electric vehicle battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, where it has a huge factory that has already stopped making cars and will be closed.
This is far below their normal wages, meaning that the longer the strike goes on, the harder it will be for GM's workers to pay their bills.
All three automakers are dealing with slower sales and the need to make huge multi-billion-dollar investments in developing electric and self-driving vehicles that have more long-term potential than current market demand. "We've got a mix of different unions that came together".
"Unions have organized, marched, negotiated, and gone on strike - all to ensure dignity and rights for working people", she tweeted.
The union has been fighting to stop GM from closing auto assembly plants in OH and MI and arguing workers deserve higher pay after years of record profits for GM in North America. But supplies of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban large SUVs, which generate big money for the company, are well below the industry average.
Earlier this month, agents raided UAW President Gary Jones' home in Canton Township, Michigan, as part of the nationwide investigation. GM now has too much US factory capacity, especially to build slower-selling cars. Data shows that the average GM worker now amasses around $14,000 (nearly twice that of both Ford and FCA) of annual profit-sharing income, though this number could substantially drop should the automotive industry experience a decline.
- Union members have great health insurance plans and workers pay about 4% of the cost.