UAW votes to go on strike against GM

The United Auto Workers voted Sunday morning to strike against General Motors Co. after contract negotiations broke down. 

The union advised 46,000 members to strike at 31 General Motors plants at about midnight Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported. This move followed the collapse of negotiations for a new four-year labor contract.

The union voted for the first national strike since 2007 against the Detroit carmaker after the company has announced plans to shut down four factories, The Associated Press reported

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Terry Dittes, director of the UAW GM department, spoke at a UAW-GM council meeting Sunday morning, saying the union is "standing up" for fair wages, health care and job security, The Detroit News reported.

"We are united, we are strong, we are ready...," The Detroit News reported Dittes said. "We stood up for GM when they needed us. We deserve a fair contract because we helped make this company what it is.

The union's current contract with General Motors expired midnight on Saturday, while it continued previous contacts with Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The union decided to zero in on its relationship with General Motors over the other companies earlier this month.

“We continue to work hard on solutions to some very difficult challenges," General Motors said in a statement Saturday night reported by The Detroit News, prior to the announcement of the strike. "We are prepared to negotiate around the clock because there are thousands of GM families and their communities – and many thousands more at our dealerships and suppliers – counting on us for their livelihood. Our goal remains on building a strong future for our employees and our business.” 

A statement from General Motors released to the Hill Sunday said the company offered more than $7 billion in investments, more than 5,400 jobs and improved wages and benefits in negotiations.

“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight. We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency," the statement said. "Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business."