Talks are set to resume Monday, but plants that makes cars and parts in nine states will be closed with almost 50,000 workers off the job. The union wants better wages and health care, as well as job security and profit sharing.
The statement went on to describe $7 billion worth of investments and 5,400 new jobs as part of GM's offer.
Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the USA planned to strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the UAW and the automaker will resume.
Union leaders did extend contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely on Friday. The GM contract could serve as a template for union contracts with other automakers. A more painful strike occurred in Flint, Michigan, in 1998, lasting 54 days and costing the No. 1 USA automaker more than $2 billion.
But GM has been storing parts, and there's enough inventory to last about two weeks, said Van Boekel.
The strike would be the union's first since a two-day work stoppage at GM in 2007. Such a slowdown could make it harder for the UAW to win concessions in the years ahead.
"This is our last resort", says Terry Dittes, Vice-President of United Auto Workers (UAW). "It's for the pay and benefits, all the things we strive for as the American people", said Local 774 President J.R. Baker.
The UAW confirmed the start of the strike in a statement early Monday.
The strike comes as anger continues to brew over GM's decision to close GM plants in both Lordstown, Ohio, and Hamtramck, outside of Detroit. Aside from standard new vehicle and engine programs, GM specifically named electric pickup truck introductions and a union-represented battery cell production site.
GM workers are reportedly looking to negotiate modifications to their base pay which would prove to be assured income rather than gambling on profit-sharing incentives. The length "depends on how far apart they really are and where the lines in the sand are drawn", she said.
Many union-ambivalent workers cited the corruption scandal in UAW's recent high profile defeat in its attempt to unionize Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant in June.
Trump has previously criticized GM for announcing plans to cut thousands of jobs in the USA and Canada.
On Sunday, President Trump tweeted for the two sides to make a deal. But supplies of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban large SUVs, which generate big money for the company, are well below the industry average.
The probe has raised questions about UAW President Gary Jones, who was identified as an unnamed official mentioned in a searing federal complaint this week detailing alleged embezzlement by union leaders. GM now has too much USA factory capacity.
Temporary employees and those working their way up the pay scale are doing the same work for less compensation, said Ted Krumm, the head of the union's bargaining committee.