UAW Set to Strike Against Any Automaker That Doesn’t Renew Contracts in Time

UAW-strike-Ford-GM-Stellantis

As a potential UAW strike looms, the organization’s president warned Sept. 6 any member of the Detroit 3--- Ford, Stellantis and GM ---that hasn’t reached a deal when current contracts end soon would be affected, the Associated Press reported.

“That’s the plan,” President Shawn Fain told the AP.

Contracts with the companies all expire at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 14.

Fain told the AP avoiding the strike altogether is still a possibility, and acknowledged the UAW---which represents a total of 146,000 workers between all three automakers---will have to give up some of its demands to do so.

Fain said negotiations are underway with Ford and a meeting was scheduled with GM for Sept. 7, but Stellantis had not yet responded to the union’s demands.

Among the demands are 46% across-the-board pay raises, a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay, restoration of traditional pensions and union representation of workers at new battery plants, the AP reported.

Ford on Sept. 7 said it had given raises over the Labor Day weekend to nearly 8,000 union-represented employees, raising their hourly pay on average  by $4.33, or another $9,000 per year. The pay hikes were not part of current discussions; rather they were negotiated by Ford and the UAW in 2019 to shorten the time it takes workers to reach the average top wage rate of $32 an hour. Ford said with this move, 80% of its UAW-represented hourly employees are now at the top wage rate. 

Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press reported a U.S. National Labors Relation Board investigation into the UAW's unfair labor practice charges against GM and Stellantis could influence whether or not there is a strike, some experts believe.

The NLRB did not give the Free Press a timeline on the investigation, but some experts said it could be expedited so it is concluded in time to meet the Sept. 14 deadline.

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