GM CEO vows to get good contract when UAW talks open

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — General Motors CEO Mary Barra declined to say if Fiat Chrysler's new, more generous contract offer could set a template for the Detroit automaker's contract, but she said negotiators would settle on a contract that’s good for the company and workers.

In a brief Detroit News interview on the sidelines of a conference here, Barra said she didn't know if GM or Ford would be up next after workers at Fiat Chrysler complete voting on a proposed new deal.

"We'll work through it," said Barra, noting that UAW President Dennis Williams has said "the companies are different" and in "different situations."

Barra noted GM hasn't started contract talks but wouldn't say if the Fiat Chrysler contract could set the pattern at GM.

"We haven't started our negotiations at this level yet, and when we get there, we're going to work and do the same creative problem solving that we've done day in and day out, and work to have an agreement that's good for the company and maintains our competitiveness — and does the right things for the institution and for our workers," Barra said.

Barra also said GM is still reviewing the proposed 12 nation Trans Pacific Partnership and hasn't made a decision on whether to support or oppose the deal. Barra said GM officials are currently reviewing the proposal.

Ford Motor Co. has already said it opposes the free-trade agreement as currently written.

"It is early days, and we have to start by first understanding it. The details are important, so we're still in an evaluation mode," Barra told the News.