Auto workers in Detroit began walking off the job Friday after union leaders disagreed on a new labor contract with Ford, General Motors and Stellandis.
“Tonight, for the first time in our history, we will strike all three Big Three at once,” UAW President Shawn Fine said in a Facebook Live address Thursday night.
Fine said members use what’s called “get upThe strike strategy calls for workers to walk off the job starting Friday at a “specific number of targeted locations.” Walkouts are taking place at three factories: a GM assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, and the Stellandis assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio.
“Local residents who have not yet been invited to join the strike will continue to work under the expired contract,” Fine said Thursday.
Fein said more workers will strike if the Big Three stall negotiations or continue to send “disgraceful offers” that don’t meet union members’ demands.
This marked the first UAW strike forecast According to Oxford Economics, the country’s GDP could be reduced by up to 0.3%.And may rise to the top in the nation . The strike could cause a spike in car prices, resulting in an economic loss of $5.6 billion to automakers.
What are their demands?
Among the UAW’s list of demands are higher pay raises for members.
The UAW began this week asking for a 46% wage increase over four years. However, the union has scaled back that figure and is now asking for a 36% wage increase, said Garrett Nelson, an auto analyst for CFRA Research. That would be an immediate increase of 18%, followed by annual increases of 4% or 5% for the remainder of the contract, Nelson said in a research note on Tuesday.
Union demands include pension benefits for all employees; restricting the use of temporary workers; more paid hours, including a four-day work week; And job security, including ownership Struggle to close down the plant.
The UAW wants the two-tier pay system at all three companies to be eliminated because members say it unfairly relegates some of their colleagues to second-class workers. Top-tier workers — anyone who joined the company before 2007 — earn roughly $33 an hour. Lower tier employees also do not receive defined benefit pensions and their health benefits are less generous.
“The most generous offer in 80 years”
The Big Three were not ready to fully meet union demands, but said they had made reasonable counter-offers and were open to further negotiations. The companies argue that they are under great pressure to keep costs and car prices low to compete with Tesla and foreign automakers.
Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley said earlier this week Will be given He described UAW members as “the most generous offer in 80 years” — a pay raise, elimination of layoffs, inflation protection, five weeks of vacation, 17 paid holidays and larger contributions to pensions. Farley said Ford made a total of four offers but hasn’t heard from the UAW since its latest offer.
“It’s hard to negotiate a deal when there’s nobody to negotiate with,” he said Wednesday night. “It’s been through all of the UAW-negotiations, sometimes after strikes, in full competition with other industrial companies, and we’ve heard nothing.”
Stellandis said the UAW is waiting to respond to its latest offer.
“Our focus is on getting good faith negotiations to a tentative agreement on the table before tomorrow’s deadline,” Tobin Williams, senior vice president of human resources, said in a letter to employees Wednesday. “The future of our represented employees and their families is nothing less.”
Adam Hersh, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said the Big Three could pay more workers. On a blog Mail On Tuesday, Hersh noted that the Big Three had combined profits of $250 billion from 2013 to 2022 and will bring in more than $32 billion in additional profits by 2023. He said in the post that the Big Three argue that overpaying workers is dangerous. Their efforts to produce more electric vehicles.
“Despite all the corporate shenanigans, they have enough cash to make EV investments, pay their workers a fair share, and maintain healthy profits,” Hersh wrote in the post.