The head of United Auto Workers, Shawn Fain, has declared he will unleash additional strikes across manufacturing facilities of General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Stellantis NV on Friday. This move is contingent on the three automakers not properly addressing the union’s demands for a new four-year labor contract for its 146,000 members.
“Either the Big Three get down to business and work with us to make progress in negotiations, or more locals will be called on to stand up and go out on strike,” UAW boss Fain said in a YouTube video published Monday evening.
Fain said, “We’re not waiting around, and we’re not messing around. So, noon on Friday, Sept. 22 is a new deadline.”
The union said Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis have “failed to put fair contract offers on the table.” A union representative told Bloomberg “no new offers” have come from the automakers “since the union made its latest proposals on Sept. 14, right before its strike began.”
A Deutsche Bank note shows the automakers have offered around 20% pay hike increase over a new four-year labor contract. At the same time, the union demands 46%. This means talks between the union and automakers are still far apart.
UAW continued, “If the automakers fail to make progress in negotiations and bargain in good faith going forward, more locals will be called on to Stand Up and join the strike.”
Here’s an excerpt from Fain’s remarks:
“We’ve been available 24/7 to bargain a deal that recognizes our members sacrifices and contributions to these record profits. Still the Big Three failed to get down to business.
That’s why, last week, our brave union family at Wentzville Assembly, Toledo Assembly, and final assembly and paint departments at Michigan Assembly were called on to Stand Up and go out on strike. And that’s exactly what they did.
Just as importantly, all the rest of you stayed on the job. That is the only way this strategy works. We’re going to keep hitting the company where we need to, when we need to. And we’re not going to keep waiting around forever while they drag this out.
I have been clear with the Big Three every step of the way. And I’m going to be crystal clear again right now. If we don’t make serious progress by noon on Friday, Sept. 22, more locals will be called on to Stand Up and join the strike. That will mark more than a week since our first members walked out. And that will mark more than a week of the Big Three failing to make progress in negotiations toward reaching a deal that does right by our members.
Autoworkers have waited long enough to make things right at the Big Three. We’re not waiting around, and we’re not messing around. So, noon on Friday, Sept. 22 is a new deadline.
Either the Big Three get down to business and work with us to make progress in negotiations or more locals will be called on to Stand Up and go out on strike.
Between now and then, UAW members will keep organizing actions. Those on strike will remain on strike. And those on the job will keep monitoring for unilateral changes made by management, which are NOT allowed under an expired contract.
Keep organizing rallies. Keep organizing red shirt days. Keep up the energy and keep showing the companies that you are ready to join the strike if necessary.
This is our generation’s defining moment.
So be ready to Stand Up.”
Full video of Fain’s remarks.
So, who is the winner after the dust settles? Well, it might not be all UAW members.
CNBC cited anonymous sources that warned the most recent contract proposal by Stellantis could lead to the closure of 18 US plants.
The plans would likely affect thousands of UAW members, shrink the automaker’s North American footprint and create a new “modernized” parts and distribution network, which company and union leaders were at odds over, the sources said.
As we’ve pointed out numerous times, according to The Wall Street Journal, the winner is Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors: “Whatever the UAW Strike Outcome, Elon Musk Has Already Won.”