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General Motors employees picket at their plant in Lordstown, Ohio on September 20, 2019. REUTERS / Rebecca Cook

Nearly 50,000 General Motors employees have been on strike since the beginning of the week. The objective: to weigh on the negotiations of a new collective agreement.

The US auto industry is paralyzed by a historic strike since Monday. It is the largest in the industry for twelve years in the United States. The strike, launched at the call of the union United Auto Workers (UAW) , continues so this weekend. General Motors plants (Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac) are still at a standstill.

" We are on strike to support employees on fixed-term contracts who can not achieve full employment status. We are also on strike for our wages and our health coverage, " says Brian Rothenberg, spokesman for the union. You know, in the United States, there is no national health system, each company has its own health coverage. In general, our members feel they have helped the company in its darkest hours during the Great Recession, and now it is up to GM to help. "

Reactivate four plants ...

The organization also wants the Detroit giant to reactivate four shutdown factories in November, including one in Michigan's state-owned Lordstown, Ohio. A mobilization very followed by the American political class, because it could weigh on the presidential 2020. Donald Trump had indeed promised to at least maintain industrial jobs in these states particularly affected by offshoring and a cheaper labor in Mexico.

Discussions are progressing, said Friday UAW. " We feel that things are progressing slowly, but there is still a long way to go," said the union spokesman. We will continue to strike until we find an agreement that gives the feeling to all our members that the company supports them, their wages and their social rights. "

General Motors, for its part, has offered more than $ 7 billion in new investment in US plants, and proposed to create 5,400 additional jobs and increase wages.