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GM/UAW: Oops! I Got It Wrong About The Strike

AP

At this time yesterday morning,I boldly and unequivocally blogged about my belief that GM and the UAW would avoid a strike and agree on a new contract. If you read that and then, just a few hours later, saw me interview striking workers in Warren, Michigan, you probably said to yourself, "boy did he get that wrong!"

So what happened?

The biggest reason is the stand the UAW has taken over job security. Having lost 38,000 jobs at GM in its last contract, the union wants guarantees the automaker will keep open U.S. plants and guarantee UAW jobs. GM will give a bit on this, but not to the degree the UAW is seeking.

So, we're back to an old fashioned stand-off. With the negotiating continues this morning, there is a considerably more pragmatic and subdued attitude about getting a deal. Gone is the optimism I heard last weekend.

As I stand and watch the picketers, I wonder how long this will go before GM suffers serious financial losses. It has some cushion, but if this goes over a week and half or two weeks, things start to change.

FYI: here are a couple of links to a blog and a messageboard from UAW members:
Futureoftheunion.com
AOL Messageboard: UAW/GM

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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