Bargaining resumed just hours after United Auto Workers walked off the job at GM plants yesterday morning, suggesting that both sides in the stalled negotiations know they can't afford a prolonged work stoppage, Bloomberg reports. GM is losing output of 12,200 cars a day, a figure that will spike as foreign factories stop receiving American-made parts. "Toyota is probably just waiting to pounce, to take more market share,'' an analyst notes.
The sticking point, the Wall Street Journal reports, is the UAW demand for jobs guarantees in exchange for agreeing to the shift of health-care liabilities to a union-run trust, the centerpiece to GM's hopes to trim labor costs. The union has sustained steep losses in membership in recent years through layoffs and buyouts. GM wants to be able to move more production overseas and set lower wages and benefits for new workers.