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UAW strike continues as union leader Shawn Fain demands ‘fair share’

The auto workers’ strike against Detroit’s Big Three entered its fourth day with no signs of rapid progress and the threat that the strike could soon expand.

A General Motors spokesperson said representatives from the company and the United Auto Workers union were continuing negotiations Monday.

So far, the strike is limited to about 13,000 workers at three factories: one at GM, one at Ford Motor and one at Stellantis. GM warned, however, that 2,000 UAW-represented workers at a Kansas City assembly plant “are expected to be idled starting early this week” due to a shortage of supplies at a GM plant near St. Louis , where workers walked out. work Friday.

Workers at the Kansas City plant build the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac XT4.

Ford decided on Friday to temporarily lay off 600 non-striking workers at its Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant, just hours after other plant employees walked off the job.

“This layoff is a consequence of the strike in the final assembly and painting departments of the Michigan assembly plant, because the components built by these 600 employees use materials that must be e-coated to be protected,” the company said in a statement on Friday. “The electronic coating is completed in the painting department, which is on strike.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she hoped for a quick resolution and that it was too early to assess the impact of the strike.

“It’s premature to make any predictions about what this means for the economy. It will depend on how long the strike lasts and who is affected by it,” she said on CNBC.

Experts believe the strike could drive up prices of new and used cars and cause a loss of $5.6 billion in wages and revenue for automakers.

UAW Worker Talks Ford Layoffs, CEO Salaries, and Automakers’ ‘Family’ Culture


In a sign of the economic and political potential of a long strike, President Joe Biden is sending two senior administration officials to Detroit this week to meet with both sides. Biden sided with the UAW in brief public comments, saying automakers had not shared their record profits fairly with workers.

An administration official said Monday that Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and her top aide Gene Sperling would not serve as mediators — they would not be at the negotiating table — but would travel to Detroit “to help support negotiations in such manner as the parties deem appropriate. constructive.” The official was not authorized to discuss private discussions and spoke anonymously.

UAW President Shawn Fain on Sunday rejected an offer from Stellantis – which owns Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM, as well as major foreign brands including Citroen, Peugeot and Maserati – to raise its workers’ wages by 21% over four years.

Ford and GM also each proposed a pay increase of about 20 percent. The union is demanding a 36% increase over a four-year contract.

The union also wants the Big Three automakers to eliminate their two-tier wage model, which leaves many workers earning less than the average wage of $32 an hour; offering defined benefit pensions to all employees; limit the use of temporary workers; offer a four-day work week; and provide more job protections, including the right to strike in the event of factory closures.

“Our demands are just” » Fain said on “Face the Nation.” “We demand our fair share in this economy and the fruits of our labor.”

UAW President Shawn Fain says 21% wage increase proposed by Chrysler parent Stellantis is ‘prohibited’


Rather than launching a total strike of its 146,000 members, the union chose to target three factories a plan that could extend the life of the union’s $825 million strike fund. Workers walked out of a GM plant in Wentzville, Missouri, a Ford plant near Detroit and a Stellantis plant in Toledo, Ohio, that produces Jeeps.

A key part of the UAW’s strategy is the threat of strike escalation if the union is unhappy with the pace of negotiations. On Friday, Fain said more factories could be targeted: “It could be in a day, it could be in a week.”

From a strategic perspective, targeting three factories “certainly created more uncertainty,” according to Harry Katz, Jack Sheinkman Professor of Collective Bargaining at Cornell University. told CBS Newsadding that Fain points out that “he is a tough and militant guy who will not accept concessions.”

The UAW “will get a strong deal. It’s a question of how and when they reach a compromise,” Katz predicted.


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