The group said it "learned that UAW is seeking to further divide employees at the Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga via an election open only to a small group of "skilled workers" in the plant's maintenance division". The New York Times is only carrying reports from the wires.
A deal costing more than $2 billion would be a reversal for Detroit, where bankruptcy and concessions from the union have driven labor costs down since 2007. Both types of strikes have occurred against GM in the past 20 years. In that period, the average labor cost per hour from GM fell to $55 per hour from a cost of $75 per hour.
That said, if a strike does occur, Bloomberg's David Welch and Bob Van Voris appear to be unique in reporting the UAW's cynical strategy.
The announcement came the day after the United Auto Workers (UAW) said that GM would be next in line for a new four-year contract, following the ratification of a sellout agreement at Fiat Chrysler (FCA) this week.
This is the first year since 2007 that union members at GM and Fiat Chrysler were capable of striking. At the Lake Orion plant, a few workers are technically employed by a separate company, called GM Subsystems Manufacturing, which was established in 2009.
The FCA agreement sets a monetary pattern that GM and Ford are expected to follow, but there is room to diverge from the agreement in a few areas such as signing, lump sum, and performance bonuses.
If a deal is not reached by the deadline, it does not mean the union will absolutely strike. The Lordstown GM plant employs about 4,500. The UAW's strike fund has about $600 million in it, down from $1 billion in 2006. Workers for Subsystems Manufacturing are employed at many GM plants to do work previously done by outside suppliers or traditional employees. That unfair enough, but the move would also affect other companies in the same industry in the same states because part of an individual company's premium is usually based on industrywide claims experience.
A big sticking point with Fiat Chrysler was the pay gap between recent hires and veteran employees.
"That would hit Fiat Chrysler where it hurts", (the Center for Automotive Research's Kristin) Dziczek said.