The United Automobile Workers said Sunday that it planned to go on strike at General Motors at midnight after the two sides could not reach an agreement on a new labor contract.
The current bargaining agreement expired at midnight on Saturday, with the union and company far apart on most of the major issues on the table.
The U.A.W. is pushing G.M. to improve wages, reopen idled plants and add jobs at others. G.M. wants workers to share a greater portion of their health care costs. Although the company has been earning substantial profits in North America, it has idled four plants in the United States amid a softening of overall demand and a steep drop in sales of cars.
The strike plan was authorized on Sunday morning by a unanimous vote at a meeting of U.A.W. regional leaders in Detroit.
“Today, we stand strong and say with one voice, we are standing up for our members and for the fundamental strike of working class people in this nation,” Terry Dittes, a union vice president, said after the meeting.
In a statement, G.M. said it has offered to make more than $7 billion in investments in plants in the United States, add 5,400 jobs and increase pay and benefits.
“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways, and it is disappointing that the U.A.W. leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight,” the company said. “We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”