Autoworkers strike against Detroit Three enters third day
About 12,700 UAW workers remain on strike as part of a coordinated labor action targeting three US assembly plants.
The United Auto Workers strike against the Detroit Three automakers entered its third day on Sunday with no immediate resolution on the horizon.
Following the beginning of the US industrial labor action, union negotiators and representatives of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis were set to resume talks starting Sunday. It is worth noting that this is the first time the UAW has gone on strike against all three automakers simultaneously.
The coordinated strike comes amid the US' approval of labor unions is at its peak in decades, while membership in unions remains largely unchanged.
On Sunday, UAW President Shawn Fain told MSNBC that progress in talks is slow and that they are set to resume talks Sunday with GM, and Stellantis and Ford on Monday. He said, "I don't really want to say we're closer," adding, "It's a shame that the companies didn't take our advice and get down to business from the beginning of bargaining back in mid-July."
In a subsequent appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, he was asked whether workers could walk out at more plans this week, Fain answered that the union was "prepared to do whatever we have to do."
Coordinated labor strike continues
Negotiators representing the UAW and Ford engaged in "fairly productive discussions" for a new contract on Saturday, as reported by the union. In a parallel development, Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, increased its proposal, suggesting a 20% wage hike over a four-and-a-half-year contract term, including an immediate 10% raise. This matches the proposals put forth by GM and Ford.
It's important to note that these proposals represent roughly half of the UAW's request for a 40% wage increase by 2027, which includes an immediate 20% bump.
Mark Stewart, the North American Chief Operating Officer for Stellantis, revealed on Saturday that the UAW rejected a proposal to restart operations at an assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. Stewart noted that their offer was contingent on reaching an agreement before the contract's expiration.
The strikes have disrupted production at three plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri, responsible for manufacturing the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Colorado, and other popular models. GM has faced challenges launching its new electric vehicles, and a protracted UAW strike could hinder these efforts, despite potentially providing short-term benefits, according to analysts.
Ford announced on Friday that it was indefinitely laying off 600 workers at a Michigan plant due to the impact of the strike, which affects Bronco production. Additionally, GM informed approximately 2,000 workers at a Kansas car plant that their factory would likely be temporarily shut down on Monday or Tuesday due to parts shortages resulting from the strike at a GM plant in Missouri.
Beyond higher wages, the UAW is advocating for shorter workweeks, the restoration of defined benefit pensions, and increased job security, especially as automakers transition to electric vehicles.