On strike and online
GM says its ‘unprecedented economic package’ wasn’t enough
GM said that before time ran out, it made “historic wage increases and industry commitments” and proposed an unprecedented set of economic measures in an effort to reach an agreement with the union.
The company said in a statement early this morning that it was ready to resume negotiations and get people back to work as quickly as possible, “for the benefit of our team members, our customers, our suppliers and communities across the United States.
Contract negotiations failed
The union negotiated simultaneously with the three automakers, a departure from previous rounds of contract negotiations.
Leaders on both sides have publicly claimed that their counterparts at the table are not talking seriously about the negotiations.
Three companies strike at once, a first for the UAW
Never before in the union’s 88-year history have its members struck against all three major companies at the same time.
In what Fain calls a “standing strike,” about 13,000 workers at three plants in Missouri, Michigan and Missouri were the first to walk out.
Why these three sites?
In choosing the first three sites to strike, the union did not go after the big corporate cash cows of full-size pickup trucks and large SUVs, and instead turned its attention to factories that make vehicles. with lower profit margins, said Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.
“They want to give businesses some space without putting them up against the wall,” Masters said. “They don’t put them directly in the corner. You put an animal in a corner and it’s dangerous.
About the first factories ready to strike
GM’s Wentzville assembly plant (Local 2,250, Region 4) has approximately 3,600 members. It produces Chevrolet Colorados and Expresses as well as GMC Canyons and Savanas.
In Toledo, Ohio, approximately 5,800 members of the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex (Local 12, Region 2B) will withdraw. They make the Jeep Wrangler and the Gladiator.
The Ford Michigan Assembly Plant – Final Assembly and Painting (Local 900, Region 1A) in Wayne has approximately 3,300 members. It produces the Ford Ranger and Bronco.
UAW strike officially launched
The UAW is officially stepping down after failing to reach agreement on a new contract with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler maker Stellantis.
This is the first time the union has gone on strike since ratifying its now-expired contract in 2019.
Whitmer says both sides should aim for victory
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has the automobile on her mind.
She spent part of the day at the Detroit Auto Show, checking out the new makes and models.
But she said her office has been in contact with the UAW and the Big Three automakers for a month and a half about collective bargaining.
She said they need to reach an agreement that suits all parties. It is possible to reach an agreement that benefits both the UAW and the Big Three, she said.
Whitmer said she is in regular contact with President Joe Biden and federal officials about a possible strike and contract negotiations.
Ford says it has the future of workers – and the company – in mind
As the threat of a UAW walkout grew closer, Ford said he was doing his part to avoid a strike.
“Ford negotiated in good faith to avoid a strike, which could have far-reaching consequences for our company and the economy. It will also impact the 57,000 UAW-Ford workers we are trying to reward with this contract”, we can read. said in a statement late this evening.
He said employees and the future were a priority in the negotiations.
“Ford remains absolutely committed to reaching an agreement that rewards our employees and protects Ford’s ability to invest in the future as we move forward in transforming the entire industry,” the statement said.
Starting small would allow the UAW to stretch its strike fund
The union’s $825 million fund, designed to pay eligible workers $500 a week during the picket, was estimated to support a strike of up to 11 weeks by its 146,000 members at the three automakers.
By initially targeting just one factory in each of the Big Three, the UAW could put that money to work.
It would first be necessary to distribute strike pay to the 12,700 workers at the three chosen sites.
Walkouts planned for three sites in three states
Fain said three units, one from each of the three manufacturers, would be the first to demonstrate, starting at midnight.
These sites are:
- GM: Wentzville, Missouri, assembly plant
- Stellantis: Toledo, Ohio, assembly plant
- Ford: Wayne, Michigan, Assembly Plant — Final Assembly and Painting
The UAW is planning a large rally in downtown Detroit Friday afternoon.
Time is running out, the UAW plans to march
Two hours before the deadline, Fain told members to prepare to strike.
“We will hit the Big Three at the same time,” he said, adding that negotiations were continuing and a deal could still be reached before midnight.
Biden in contact with the UAW and automakers
Hours before the deadline, the White House said President Joe Biden had been in contact with UAW President Shawn Fain, as well as executives from major automakers, to discuss the status of ongoing negotiations.
The White House says the administration is monitoring the economic implications of a possible strike.
Tense negotiations led to accusations from both sides
Late last month, the UAW filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing GM and Stellantis of failing to negotiate in good faith and in a timely manner.
The automakers have denied the accusations.
Ford, GM and Stellantis said they negotiated in good faith and pushed back against union demands they say are excessive – warning in some cases that big wage increases could reduce investments needed for the transition to electric vehicles.
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