GM’s Barra says these 2 issues will be top topics in 2023 UAW contract talks

General Motors CEO Mary Barra described it as an “incredibly exciting time” for the automaker ahead of contract talks with the UAW in the fall of 2023 for two unknown reasons: the future of union leadership and the health of the U.S. economy.

But Barra, speaking to the media at an Automotive Press Association event in Detroit on Thursday, said he had an idea of ​​the main challenges facing GM and the union, noting that an uncertain economy could affect new contract terms.

“What do people want? They want job security and they want recognition … and they want to be compensated accordingly,” Barra said. “But given inflation and the (uncertain) economic backdrop, it’s going to be interesting. Say what the economic situation will be like next year. I think no one knows.”

Barra noted that the UAW’s officer selection “isn’t done yet, so it’s going to be important to watch” so GM’s bargaining team knows who they’ll be sitting with next year. Last week, UAW members chose the first orientation of top leaders. There was no clear winner for the top job, prompting a runoff to determine whether incumbent Ray Curry should be ousted. Many reform candidates won seats. These are candidates who have expressed concerns about the union’s long-running corruption scandal and its leaders’ unwillingness to fight hard enough against wage levels and other concessions. Now they will have a seat at the decision-making table for years to come.

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