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General Motors delivers hard-nosed message to UAW workers

The automaking giant is talking tough about worker wages.



The United Auto Workers (UAW) wish list for striking workers is long, but pay is one of the stickiest points when negotiating a deal with General Motors  (GM) - Get Free Report, Ford Motors  (F) - Get Free Report, and Stellantis  (STLA) - Get Free Report

The UAW is on record asking for wage increases of 40%, saying record profits at the big three demand a record contract. That's a big ask that could cause the strike to continue and potentially escalate.

General Motors' President Mark Reuss on Sept. 20 penned an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press that took aim at claims its profitability gives it the financial firepower necessary to bump up wages significantly. 

WENTZVILLE, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 15: GM workers with the UAW Local 2250 Union strike outside the General Motors Wentzville Assembly Plant on September 15, 2023 in Wentzville, Missouri. In the first time in its history the United Auto Workers union is on strike against all three of America’s unionized automakers, General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, at the same time. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

The stakes are high for workers and automakers

Auto workers made concessions during the Great Financial Crisis to help U.S. carmakers stay afloat. Following years of improving profitability, they're looking for GM, Ford, and Stellantis to bridge the gap between worker wages and rising inflation-related costs.

A return to pensions that were dismantled for new workers during the Great Recession, a shorter 32-hour workweek, and cost-of-living increases are included on striking auto workers' wish lists. Getting the Detroit Big Three to sign off on those demands would be hard enough without the demand for a significant bump up in pay.

Related: Toyota issues a major threat to Tesla's EV supremacy

UAW's President Shawn Fain argues that automakers' profits over the past few years put them in a position to pay higher wages and still make money. However, GM's Reuss argues that paying for wages would come at the expense of investments that allow General Motors to compete in a market experiencing significant change because of the shift from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EV).

"If we don’t continue to invest, we will lose ground — quickly. Our competitors across the country and around the world, most of whom are non-union, will waste no time seizing the opportunity we would be handing them," wrote Reuss.

Those competitors include Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report, the largest U.S. EV company, with a market share of 62%. GM's EV market share totals below 5%. EVs currently represent about 7% of the total vehicles sold in the U.S. However, they're expected to increase to over one-quarter of all vehicles by 2026. 

If GM hopes to capture its fair share of that market opportunity, it will need to spend a lot of money developing, manufacturing, and selling new models over the next few years.

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"Those record profits are reinvested in our company and our people. In 2022, GM had net income profits of $9.9 billion. In 2023, our capital spending will be $11-$12 billion. That’s not an aberration ― over the past ten years, our net income totaled $65 billion, and the amount we invested in that same period? $77 billion," says Reuss.

General Motors is offering striking workers a 20% pay increase to continue making those investments. It believes that's a very competitive offer, particularly given the company's existing pay. 

"About 85% of current represented employees would earn a base wage of approximately $82,000 a year. In contrast, the average median household income in nine areas where GM has major assembly plants is $51,821. And total compensation for the 85% of the workforce, with overtime and benefits, would be more than $150,000 a year," says Reuss.

Reuss suggests that GM's offer balances rewarding employees and maintaining the financial flexibility necessary to avoid losing market share to Tesla, Toyota  (TM) - Get Free Report, Honda  (HMC,) - Get Free Report and others. 

The sooner a deal is struck with workers, the less likely it is that General Motors will need to delay its initiatives, potentially paving the way for others to outmaneuver it.

"As the past has clearly shown, nobody wins in a strike. We have delivered a record offer. That is a fact. It rightly rewards our team members, while positioning the company for success in the future," says Reuss.

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One of Cathie Wood’s favorite industry leaders just hit a roadblock

Authorities have put a pause on one company wreaking havoc on the roads.



Cathie Wood’s robotaxi future may have somewhat come into fruition as multiple companies have deployed driverless cars to roam the roads and take passengers. 

However, state regulators have pumped the brakes on a key player who treated the roads like a beta test battleground.

Related: Cathie Wood dumps $4.5 million worth of surging Big Tech titan

In a brief statement, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has suspended the permits of General Motors  (GM) - Get Free Report -backed Cruise within the state, citing that its vehicles are “not safe for the public’s operation” and that the cars pose “an unreasonable risk to the public.”

Members of SafeStreetRebel, a group of activists, place a cone on a self-driving robotaxi to disable it in San Francisco on July 11. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)


Both Cruise and Alphabet  (GOOG) - Get Free Report subsidiary Waymo have been under fire by local authorities, motorists and the general public ever since they were allowed to provide 24-hour rideshare services around the San Francisco area and in other U.S. cities.

Cruise’s suspension, in particular, comes one week after the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration said it was investigating the company following two incident reports of injuring pedestrians.

Cruise spokesperson Navideh Forghani said in a statement to Forbes that the company is reviewing an Oct. 2 incident in San Francisco where a woman who was initially hit by a human-operated vehicle was thrown into the path of an oncoming Cruise autonomous vehicle.

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San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin told Forbes that Cruise’s suspension was “better late than never,” adding “San Francisco has long held that Cruise vehicles were not ready for prime time and the state should have never allowed their unlimited deployment in the first place.”

The California DMV stated that they have provided Cruise with the steps it needs to take to apply to reinstate its suspended permits in its brief statement. However, any specific details of such has not been disseminated.

San Francisco is not the only city where Cruise offers its robotaxi service. It also operates in Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Ariz. Currently it is testing vehicles in 10 other cities around the United States, including Nashville, Tenn. 

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Pro-crypto lawmaker Tom Emmer ends hours-long speaker campaign: Report

The Minnesota congressman was one of only a few crypto proponents in Congress being considered as a possible speaker of the House by Republican lawmakers.



The Minnesota congressman was one of only a few crypto proponents in Congress being considered as a possible speaker of the House by Republican lawmakers.

Tom Emmer, the current majority whip and a crypto proponent, has reportedly dropped his bid to become the next speaker of the United States House of Representatives — a position second in line to the U.S. presidency.

According to multiple reports from major news outlets on Oct. 24, Representative Emmer ended his campaign for speaker after he was unable to secure the 217 Republican votes necessary to win on the House floor, a vote that had been expected sometime in the next day or two. The Minnesota congressman had only won the Republican nomination for speaker early on Oct. 24, making the race for the position open to a number of candidates once again.

Representative Emmer was the third candidate for speaker to drop his bid following a lack of Republican support. Following U.S. lawmakers in the House voting to remove former speaker Kevin McCarthy on Oct. 3, Representatives Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise have both attempted to drum up enough votes to win the speakership, but ultimately failed. Representative Patrick McHenry has been acting as interim speaker.

Emmer, a crypto proponent well known by many in the space, has spoken about financial privacy concerns regarding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the non-partisan nature of regulating digital assets. Cointelegraph reached out to Emmer’s office following his nomination but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Following Emmer’s nomination by Republicans, former U.S. President Donald Trump told his Truth Social followers that supporting the Minnesota congressman would be a “tragic mistake”. The former president’s message followed Emmer expressing his desire to continue a “strong working relationship” with Trump should he win the speakership.

Related: Crypto adoption crosses party lines amid Washington’s political deadlock

At the time of publication, it was unclear who the Republicans planned to nominate next for speaker. Since Oct. 3, the House of Representatives has been legislatively paralyzed on crypto bills passed by the Financial Services Committee, including the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, the Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act and the Keep Your Coins Act.

Magazine: 6 Questions for Adelle Nazarian on crypto, journalism and the future of Bitcoin

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Crypto advocate Tom Emmer drops out of the running for Speaker of the House

Tom Emmer, the Republican Party’s most recent nominee for the open position of Speaker of the House, has removed himself from the running. Republicans…



Tom Emmer, the Republican Party’s most recent nominee for the open position of Speaker of the House, has removed himself from the running. Republicans in Congress nominated Emmer for Speaker of the House on Oct. 24. However, roughly four hours after the fact, Emmer reportedly dropped out of the running, as have two nominees before him. Emmer, currently serving as the majority whip, faced a challenging path to secure the position, as he would have had to seek it without the support of former U.S. President Donald Trump, who still enjoys immense popularity among far right-wing conservatives. The House Speaker’s seat has been vacant for three weeks following the removal of Kevin McCarthy earlier this month. During this period, two candidates, Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan, have fallen short in their attempts to secure the position. One of the lawmakers who ran for the position, Jack Bergman, posted on X (formerly Twitter):
“The House needs to elect a Speaker – and Republicans need to get to work. We have no time to waste. As I said before the vote, I’ll support our Speaker Designate on the House floor. We shouldn’t leave until we are confident we have 217 votes.”
Emmer is a prominent advocate for the cryptocurrency industry within Congress. Over the past years, he has championed various crypto-related bills, including a bill that prohibits the issuance of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and another that restructures the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) funding mechanisms. The post Crypto advocate Tom Emmer drops out of the running for Speaker of the House appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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