UAW stays additional strike expansion

Collage Maker 19 Sep 2023 12 11 PM 5925

The autoworkers union will not expand its strike against Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis, United Auto Workers (UAW) union President Shawn Fain said during a live stream on Friday.

Over the past 24 hours, two of the “Big Three” automakers made new offers to the autoworkers union as its strike stretches into its fifth week, United Auto Workers (UAW) union President Shawn Fain said during remarks.

“This week, we saw the companies trying to get in line with one another. Now we need to move that line across all three,” Fain said.

The union has a 23 percent wage hike on the table, up from 9 percent when negotiations started, and said it had made progress in work-life balance, cost of living adjustments and retirement benefits.

But the two sides don’t seem any closer to a deal.

While Fain said there had been significant progress in negotiations with General Motors (GM) and Stellantis, he ripped into Ford and its CEO Bill Ford, who urged striking autoworkers to end their strike and unite against competitors like Toyota, Honda and Tesla in live- streamed remarks on Monday.

“I want to be crystal clear on one thing: The days of the UAW and Ford being a team to fight other companies are over,” Fain said.

The UAW launched a targeted strike that started with one facility per automaker after both sides failed to reach a new agreement before the previous contract expired on Sept. 14.

The strike has since grown to include nearly 34,000 union workers.

“This isn’t just about one industry or one workplace, it’s about the whole working class finally standing up to corporate greed,” Fain said. “There is more to be won.”

Two weeks ago, Fain opted not to expand strikes after GM agreed to include electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing in its union agreement, a major win for autoworkers worried about how the shift to electric vehicles will impact their industry.

Last Friday, Fain announced the union was “prepared at any time” to expand its strike as opposed to waiting for regularly scheduled Friday updates.

Dozens of senators introduced a resolution Thursday calling on the Big Three to negotiate in good faith with the union and offer a fair contract for workers. Several members of Congress and President Biden have traveled to the picket line to lend their support.

Fain reiterated his support for other members of the “UAW family” on strike.

Striking Mack Truck workers in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union also went on strike earlier this month. Their demands include higher wages, retirement benefits and cost of living adjustments.

Around 36 percent of US adults sympathize with the striking autoworkers, while just 9 percent sympathize with the auto giants, according to an Associated Press-NORC poll released last Thursday. The remaining respondents were split nearly evenly between being sympathetic to both sides and neither side, 26 and 27 percent respectively.

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