If no agreements are reached by Thursday, the United Auto Workers will launch a series of strikes against individual U.S. auto plants, marking their first ever simultaneous strike against the Detroit Three automakers.
UAW President Shawn Fain stated in a Facebook Live speech that to win, action is likely necessary. He also mentioned that the UW did not intend to have broader company walkouts if no agreement was reached, but would increase their actions unless negotiations improved.
“We are getting ready to strike these businesses in a way they have never before seen.”
Fain claimed that the Detroit Three automakers had proposed pay raises of up to 20% over four and a half years, but they were not meeting the demands of the workers.
Fain outlined a plan to “create confusion” by implementing work stoppages targeting individual U.S. plants if no agreement is reached, but did not specify which ones.
The coordinated strikes would be the first simultaneous stoppage at all three Detroit automakers and one of the largest U.S. industrial labor actions in recent years.
Fain stated that the UAW will announce which plants it will strike on Thursday, when the current four-year contracts expire.
Fain revealed that Ford Motor (F.N) has proposed a 20% pay raise, while General Motors (GM.R. is offering 18% and Stellantis (17.5%) 17.5%, which is less than half of the 40% pay hikes the union has requested, including an immediate 20% increase on contract ratification and 5% annual hike amounts, but are higher than the initial offers made by the companies.
Ford blasted the UAW for not having received any genuine counteroffers and stressed the importance of working creatively to solve difficult problems rather than organizing strikes or public relations meetings.
GM has confirmed that they are still awaiting the UAW’s response to their offer from Stellantis. They have also expressed confidence in their approach and have presented strong offers, which they believe are progressing well.
Ford expressed concern about a potentially disastrous situation. “The industry is in danger. Let’s do everything we can to prevent it from happening.”
U.S. President Shawn Fain is the chair of the 2023 Special Elections Collective Bargaining Convention in Detroit, Michigan, on March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo have acquired Licensing Rights.
The union is pushing for the reinstatement of defined benefit pensions, expansion of work hours, and cost-of-living increases, as well as job security assurances and the prohibition on temporary employment.
Fain claimed that automakers have turned down pension, the 32-hour work week, and other benefits. He also criticized proposed changes to profit sharing that would decrease worker payments.
According to Anderson Economic Group, a UAW strike that involves the closure of the Detroit Three manufacturers for 10 days could result in over $5 billion in losses for carmakers, suppliers, and workers, potentially disrupting the auto supplier network.
White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein announced on Wednesday that U.S. President Joe Biden has urged the parties to stay in touch and work towards a win-win agreement, with UAW workers being kept at the center of the auto future.
Last week, Biden contacted top executives from three major automakers to encourage them to make more aggressive proposals and stay at the table, according to Bernstein.
The AFL-CIO President, Liz Shuler, stated to Reuters that autoworkers are not inclined to go on strike, but they may choose to do so if necessary to achieve an equitable agreement.
Shuler pointed out that there have been more than 200 strikes in the United States this year, and she attributed it to the economy’s breakdown and workers’ dissatisfaction.
Detroit was arranged to go without singulation.
Fain, Senator Bernie Sanders, and other members of Congress are set to participate in a rally in Detroit on Friday, which is part of the first day of walkouts organized by the UAW.
Targeting strategic plants could result in the immediate cessation of automakers’ U.S. production and potentially prolong the duration of the strike fund, which the UAW has spent $825 million to purchase new weapons.
The first name of Shawn Fain has been corrected in paragraph 2 of this story, which was previously retracted.
David Shepardson was responsible for reporting, while Nick Zieminski, Deepa Babington, Chris Reese, and Diane Craft edited the work.
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