UAW President Shawn Fain addresses union members during a solidarity rally on Sunday in Warren, Michigan, on August 20, 2023

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers and Detroit automakers remain far apart before the union is “likely” to strategically attack the companies after Thursday’s deadline at 11:59 p.m. ET, UAW President Shawn Fain said Wednesday evening.

The outspoken union leader outlined key details of current proposals between the UAW and General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis on merchandise increases, cost-of-living adjustments, bonuses, job security and other new demands from the companies.

Fain also laid out general plans for how the union will launch strategic attacks on Detroit automakers if necessary. He said the strike would begin at a limited number of locations and more would follow if necessary.

“If companies continue to negotiate in bad faith… our strikes will continue to increase… We will get to where we need to attack,” Fain said during a Facebook Live event on Wednesday.

Fain also said, “A general strike is still possible.” He also said that in the event of strikes on Friday, the union would not negotiate, but would instead hold a rally at 4 p.m. with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the progressive lawmaker from Vermont, will be held in Detroit.

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.

The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Fain’s comments.

Here you can find out what the most important topics are.


Fain said Ford offered a 20% price increase over the four years of the deal, followed by GM at 18% and Stellantis at 17.5%.


Eliminating salary scales or transitional pay, where members are paid differently based on seniority, has been one of the union’s top priorities for years.

Fain said each of the automakers has proposed cutting the eight-year training period for top wages, which are currently more than $32 an hour, to four years.


Fain has called for a return to the cost of living adjustment (COLA), which increases wages to keep pace with inflation.

Ford has proposed a return to a COLA formula used in the past, which Fain said would provide estimated wage protection of less than $1 over the life of the contract; Proposals from GM and Stellantis would not provide protection, he said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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