Contract talks between General Motors and striking United Auto Workers took a big step toward an agreement Wednesday when committees finished their work and sent it to the top bargainers.
The move is a sign that contract talks are getting close to finishing. It means that minor issues largely are resolved and a few bargainers for both sides will now try to come to terms on wages, use of temporary workers and other contentious issues.
UAW Vice President Terry Dittes outlined the development in a letter to members. He said the union presented material to GM and is waiting for a response.
The strike by about 49,000 workers is in its 11th day. It has halted production at more than 30 GM factories nationwide, including in the Town of Tonawanda and Lockport where some 3,000 workers are affected.
The strike also became a political issue, when Democratic National Committee Chairman and Amherst native Tom Perez walked the line in front of the GM Powertrain plant in the town. He was joined by New York Lt. Gov. and Buffalo native Kathy Hochul, saying unions are the barometer for America's middle class.