GM strike day 2: Six things we learned

Nearly 50,000 employees on picket lines

By Brenna Cammeron, CNN Business
Copyright 2019 CNN

Tens of thousands of General Motors workers are on strike, pushing for more money from the automaker.

(CNN) - After almost 50,000 General Motors employees ended their second day and are set to begin their third day on the picket lines, we are learning more about their demands and how the strike is affecting GM.

Here are six things you may have missed:

Who pays for striking workers' health care?

GM employees have one less thing to worry about on the picket lines — their health care, which will continue thanks to the UAW's strike benefit fund. They will be eligible for medical assistance through COBRA, which extends existing insurance coverage, for the duration of the strike.

The latest estimates have GM losing a lot on the strike

According to Credit Suisse, the strike could cost GM $50 million a day in lost revenue, although those losses could be partly offset by the fact that GM isn't paying the striking workers.

Workers want GM to pay back recession-era concessions

GM is coming off the most profitable decade in its history. That wasn't the case during the Great Recession, when the company was hemorrhaging cash and headed for bankruptcy and a federal bailout.

Many workers made financial sacrifices in that period, believing they were doing what was necessary to save the company — and their jobs. Now that GM is once again booming, many say they should be compensated for the pay and benefits they sacrificed when the company was in trouble.

Truckers are standing in solidarity with GM strikers

The Teamsters union — the truckers who would usually pick up and haul completed vehicles from factories and ports and to dealerships — is standing with the workers and the UAW for the duration of the strike.

Truckers will not cross picket lines, so if there are picketers in front of a factory that has finished vehicles ready to be shipped to dealers, Teamster truckers will honor the picket line and refuse transport those vehicles. However, they will still pick up and transport vehicles from locations where there aren't any picket lines.

The UAW wants GM to move jobs from Mexico to the US

The autoworkers union has asked General Motors to shift jobs and manufacturing currently located in Mexico to the US, but GM wouldn't budge on that point, a UAW source told CNN Business.

The White House wades in

President Trump hasn't said much about the GM strike, but Vice President Pence issued a statement earlier today.

"A message for the United Auto Workers who are currently on strike: As the president said we hope you work out your differences with GM soon, but the best way we can support our nation's auto workers is to tell Congress to pass the #USMCA!" Pence wrote, referring to the US-Mexico-Canada agreement that the White House hopes will replace NAFTA.

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