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UAW to let GM contract lapse, raising likelihood of strike

United Auto Workers President Gary Jones speaks July 16, 2019, during the opening of their contract talks with General Motors in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is letting its contract with General Motors expire just before midnight Saturday, increasing the likelihood of a strike as early as Sunday night.

Citing significant differences with the company on wages, health care and other issues, union Vice President Terry Dittes (DIT-ez) told local union officials in a letter that a decision on whether to strike will be made Sunday.

The union says in a letter to GM that union members will report for regular shifts on Sunday.

Both letters were obtained Saturday by The Associated Press. 

Dittes said in the letter to union officials that they’ll be working until the deadline in an effort to reach an agreement.

But he says they’re also far apart on many issues.

“We still have many outstanding issues remaining, including significant differences between the parties on wages, health care benefits, temporary employees, job security and profit sharing,” wrote Dittes, the union’s Leader in the GM negotiations.

No decision on a strike will be made until after the union executive board meets and local presidents meet on Sunday morning, the letter said.

Earlier this week the union announced that GM would be its target company. That means it will be the focus of bargaining a deal that will be a template for Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The union extended the contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely while bargaining with GM continues.