The Latest: Michigan governor supports striking GM workers

United Auto Workers members picket outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., early Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. planned to strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
United Auto Workers members picket outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., early Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. planned to strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Flint resident Jashanti Walker, who has been a first shift team leader in the body shop for two years, demonstrates with more than a dozen other General Motors employees outside of the Flint Assembly Plant on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Flint, Mich. The United Auto Workers union says its contract negotiations with GM have broken down and its members will go on strike just before midnight on Sunday. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)
United Auto Workers members picket outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., early Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. planned to strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Sean Crawford, of United Auto Workers 598, rallies outside the Marriott Renaissance Hotel while the UAW GM Council holds a meeting inside the hotel in Detroit, Sunday Sept. 15, 2019. The United Auto Workers union announced that tens of thousands of its members at General Motors plants in the U.S. will go on strike Sunday night because contract negotiations with the automaker had broken down. (Kathleen Galligan/Detroit Free Press via AP)
United Auto Workers members picket outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., early Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. planned to strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Terry Dittes, director of the UAW General Motors department, announces on Sunday Sept. 15, 2019, that GM workers will go on a national strike at midnight in the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, in Detroit. (Clarence Tabb Jr./Detroit News via AP)
United Auto Workers members picket outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. went on strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
United Auto Workers members picket outside the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. went on strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT — The Latest on the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is supporting autoworkers who are striking against General Motors.

The Democrat on Monday visited United Auto Workers members picketing outside the Lansing Grand River plant, blocks from the state Capitol building. Photos her office posted to social media showed her shaking hands and delivering doughnuts.

Spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says Whitmer is closely monitoring the strike and supports working peoples' rights to negotiate together for better wages, benefits, working conditions and more time to spend with their families.

More than 49,000 unionized GM workers walked off their jobs just after midnight Monday.

Whitmer says she is hopeful that the UAW and GM can negotiate and ratify a new contract quickly, because getting autoworkers back on the job as quickly as possible is important to Michigan's economy.

___

9:45 a.m.

A top United Auto Workers official is telling General Motors that if the company had made its latest offer earlier, the union may not have gone on strike.

The letter from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes (DIT-ez) to GM's chief bargainer says the company waited to make the offer until two hours before the contract expired Friday night. He says it would have been possible to reach an agreement and avoid a strike if the company moved sooner.

More than 49,000 GM workers walked off their jobs just after midnight Monday.

Dittes writes that they still have to resolve differences over wages, pay increases for new hires, health care, job security and other issues.

Contract talks resume Monday.

____

12:02 a.m.

More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked off General Motors factory floors or set up picket lines early Monday as contract talks with the company deteriorated into a strike.

Workers shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states across the U.S., as well as 22 parts distribution warehouses.

It wasn't clear how long the walkout would last, with the union saying GM has budged little in months of talks while GM said it made substantial offers including higher wages and factory investments.

It's the first national strike by the union since a two-day walkout in 2007 that had little impact on the company.

Contract talks were scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday.

____

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