The United Auto Workers go on strike against Ford, GM and Stellantis

UAW President Shawn Fain calls on three locations to strike at midnight

Detroit’s Big Three automakers failed to arrive New employment agreement Before their contracts expired, employees represented by the United Auto Workers union expired at midnight Thursday, sparking one of the largest strikes to hit the United States in years.

UAW President Sean Fine said in a Facebook Live address late Thursday that employees at three Ford, General Motors and Stellantis plants will leave the job immediately: the General Motors Assembly Plant in Wentzville, Missouri, the Ford Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, and the Ford Assembly Plant In Wayne, Michigan. Stellantis Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio.

“Tonight, for the first time in our history, we will hit the big three at the same time,” he said.

Reuters News Service reported that about 12,700 employees in those facilities will participate in the labor movements. Employees will be paid about $500 weekly from the UAW’s $825 million strike fund, according to the Associated Press.

“Local residents who have not yet been invited to join the strike will continue to work under the expired agreement,” Fine said.

He told CNN he did not expect any bargaining on Friday but that the two sides could return to the table on Saturday.

An expert weighs in on how the UAW strike will impact the economy

Dozens of workers gathered outside the Ford plant in Wayne as the midnight deadline approached, while a massive rally was scheduled for Friday afternoon in downtown Detroit.

“We will show our strength and unity on the first day of this historic action,” Fine said. “All options remain on the table.”

The work stoppage marks the first strike at Detroit automakers since GM workers struck in 2019.

What auto workers want

The UAW’s demands include a 36% pay increase across a four-year contract; Retirement benefits for all employees; Limited use of temporary workers; More paid leave, including a Four-day work week; and more job protections, including the right to strike against factory closures.

As talks reached an impasse on Thursday, leaders at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) said they had made multiple offers to the UAW in recent weeks in hopes of signing a new deal for the union’s 145,000 workers.

“I think they are preparing for a historic strike with all three companies,” Ford CEO Jim Farley told CBS News earlier Thursday.

What are auto workers asking for and what benefits are automakers offering?

“At 8 p.m. this evening at the Solidarity House in Detroit, the UAW filed its first substantive counterproposal to Ford just hours after the expiration of the current four-year collective bargain agreement,” Ford said in a later statement.

After the strike began, Stellantis said it was “deeply disappointed by the refusal of UAW leadership to engage in a responsible manner to reach a fair agreement that is in the best interests of our employees, their families, and our customers. We have immediately placed the company on a state of emergency.” situation and we will make all appropriate structural decisions to protect our North American operations and the company.”

“We are disappointed by the actions of UAW leadership, despite the unprecedented economic package GM has on the table, including historic wage increases and manufacturing commitments,” the GM added. “We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.” “. “Possible for the benefit of our team members, customers, suppliers, and communities across the U.S. In the meantime, our priority is the safety of our workforce.”

Hot speech

Although the Big Three have not been willing to meet all of the UAW’s demands, they maintain that they have made reasonable counteroffers and are willing to negotiate further. In outlining their position, automaker officials say they are under enormous pressure to keep costs and car prices low in order to compete with Tesla and foreign automakers, especially as the companies compete for a share of the growing electric vehicle market.

“Their initial offer was to pay each worker about $300,000 hourly, and work four days,” Farley said Thursday of the UAW’s demands. “This would put our company out of business.”

“If the strike lasts longer than three to four weeks, it will be somewhat detrimental to GM and Ford’s EV strategy in 2024. … While Detroit supporters are fighting the UAW, there’s a bottle of champagne being frozen at Tesla headquarters,” he said. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said in a report.

He said that although Fine acknowledged that automakers had raised their wage offers, the proposals were still inadequate. Ford offered 20% interest over 4.5 years, while GM and Stellantis offered 18% and 17.5% over four years, respectively.

Analysts warn that a strike could disrupt the domestic auto industry, cause vehicle prices to rise, and lead to losses in wages and profits amounting to about $6 billion, while reducing overall US economic growth by up to 0.3%.

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