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GM CEO Mary Barra defends position amid UAW strike, says company put 4 offers on the table

General Motors CEO Mary Barra defended her company’s position Friday amid the United Auto Workers union strike and said GM has put multiple offers forward.

“We’ve been at the table since July 18th. We received over 1,000 demands,” Barra told “CBS Mornings” on Friday. “We put four offers on the table.”

She said she is “very proud” of the “historic” offer the company put on the table Thursday, because “it’s a record from a gross wage increase perspective in our 115-year history, as well as maintaining strong … world-class health care that our employees enjoy.”

“And I think one thing that’s very important is from a job security perspective, in this contract, we have product and work for every single one of our plants,” she said. “And that didn’t happen by accident.”

Barra said GM couldn’t be successful if the company met all of UAW’s demands. The initial demands, she said, were over $100 billion.

“We still have a ways to go with the offer they put on the table last night,” Barra said. 

“We’re at the table now ready to keep going and get this resolved as quickly as possible,” she said.

Thousands of members of the UAW initiated a strike at midnight, affecting key facilities in the automotive industry. Picket lines have emerged outside Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, a GM plant in Missouri and a Stellantis plant in Ohio, marking the first time all Big Three automakers have been hit simultaneously.

When asked why GM won’t meet the union’s demands, which include a 36% pay raise, a four-day work week and pension benefits for all employees, Barra said GM must ensure the company’s success over the next 115 years by investing in new products customers want to buy.

“That impacts the number of vehicles we build, which directly impacts how many people are part of our manufacturing team,” she said.

The strike has raised concerns about General Motors’ ability to maintain its production lines, especially at the Wentzville plant in Missouri where they recently launched the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon, both of which Barra said are in strong demand. Barra said GM’s cargo van has also been in strong demand for over a decade. 

Barra said the strike will likely have an impact beyond Wentzville but that GM is “going to continue to work to meet customer needs.”

Regarding her own compensation, Barra said that “over 92% of executive compensation is performance-linked,” and highlighted the company’s profit-sharing program. “When the company does well, everyone does well,” she said. 

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