UAW Strikes, US News Today (News21USA): The UAW (United Auto Workers) President, Shawn Fain, has announced the expansion of “stand-up” strikes at 12 p.m. ET, specifically targeting GM and Stellantis facilities. However, negotiations with Ford have shown promising progress, prompting a different approach.
Workers at GM and Stellantis parts distribution facilities are set to engage in “stand-up” strikes at 38 locations across 20 states. Fain emphasized that the objective of this strategy is to secure record contracts, providing maximum leverage and flexibility in negotiations with automakers. Unlike traditional strikes affecting all plants simultaneously, select local UAW chapters will stage targeted walkouts.
While negotiations with Stellantis and GM have not yielded the desired outcomes, Fain announced significant concessions made by Ford, including the reinstatement of a COLA (cost-of-living adjustment formula), the right to strike over plant closures, an enhanced profit-sharing formula, and the immediate conversion of temporary employees, among other provisions.
“We’ve made real progress at Ford this past week,” stated Fain, acknowledging Ford’s commitment to reaching an agreement. However, he added that Stellantis and GM may require more pressure.
In response, Ford released a statement expressing its dedication to working closely with the UAW to achieve a mutually beneficial deal. While progress has been made in some areas, both parties still face significant challenges in addressing key economic issues.
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Fain explained that the decision to strike at GM and Stellantis parts and distribution facilities stemmed from wage disparities compared to other locations. Notably, the ongoing stand-up strikes initiated last Friday at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., plant, Stellantis’s Toledo Assembly plant in Ohio, and Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Mich., remain in effect until further notice.
The expansion of strikes was anticipated within the automotive industry, though Ford’s exclusion from the targeted strikes is noteworthy. This development coincides with heightened tensions between the UAW and the Big Three automakers.
Earlier this week, leaked text messages from a member of the UAW’s communications team hinted at the union’s intentions for extended stand-up strikes, aiming to keep the Big Three “wounded for months” and fostering competition between the automakers during negotiations. While these tactics were anticipated, they were condemned by the companies involved.
GM expressed concern over the UAW’s intention to cause prolonged disruption, questioning the union’s strategy. Ford, while disappointed by the tactics, reiterated its commitment to negotiating in good faith to reach a resolution.