The United Auto Workers has rejected General Motors' latest proposal for a new four-year contract.
The union says the offer fell short on many issues, including job security.
Michael Hicks is a manufacturing expert at Ball State University. He says the prospect of more plant closures and job losses is an existential threat to the UAW.
"The problem is retaining flexibility in employment for GM," says Hicks. "They just need to be able to cut their excess capacity when and as they need it, without being forced into maintaining employees by the UAW."
Hicks says both sides are financially able to endure a long strike.