Blue Cross Blue Shield employees show their support to members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union as they march through the streets of downtown Detroit following a rally on the first day of the UAW strike in Detroit, Michigan, September 15, 2023 .
Matthew Hatcher | AFP | Getty Images
DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union will announce additional strikes at General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis plants if the sides do not make “serious progress” in negotiations by noon ET Friday, UAW President Shawn Fain announced Monday evening.
The timing of the additional plants would come just over a week after the union announced targeted strikes at all three major automakers’ assembly plants in Detroit, where the union sent about 12,700 workers to picket lines.
“Autoworkers have waited long enough to get things right with the Big Three. We don’t wait around and we don’t play around. So Friday at noon, September 22nd, is a new deadline,” Fain said in a video posted online by the union.
Fain previously said the union planned to extend the work stoppages depending on how negotiations with the companies go. The announcement came following union meetings with each of the automakers since the targeted strikes began on Friday.
In contrast to the original contract deadlines, Fain did not say that preliminary agreements would have to be reached with companies to prevent further strikes, only “significant progress”. A union spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what constitutes this other than a tentative deal.
Workers at GM’s midsize truck and van plant in Wentzville, Missouri are currently on strike; Ford’s midsize Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV plant in Wayne, Michigan; and the Stellantis Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator plant in Toledo, Ohio.
The union chose the plants as part of targeted strike plans because Fain and UAW leaders were negotiating unconventionally with all three automakers at the same time. The work stoppages are called “standing strikes,” a reference to historic UAW sit-down strikes in the 1930s.
“The ‘Stand Up Strike’ is a new strike approach. Instead of striking all the factories at once, selected locals were called upon to ‘stand up’ and go on strike. If automakers don’t make progress in negotiations and …” “If we negotiate in good faith in the future, more locals will be called upon to stand up and join the strike,” Fain said Monday.
Targeted strikes typically focus on key plants, which can then cause other plants to stop production due to parts shortages. They are not unprecedented, but the way the union carries them out is not typical.
GM and Ford issued general statements about the ongoing talks but declined to comment directly by the union’s Monday evening deadline. Stellantis referred to a statement released Monday afternoon that said talks with the union were “constructive and focused on where we can find common ground to reach an agreement.”
The additional strike plans come despite automakers making record offers to the union that include an hourly wage increase of about 20%, thousands of dollars in bonuses, retention of the union’s platinum health care and other discounted benefits.
The union’s key demands included a 40% increase in hourly wages, a shortening of the 32-hour week, a return to traditional pensions, the elimination of pay scales and the reintroduction of cost-of-living adjustments, among others.
Source : www.cnbc.com