Wed. Sep 20th, 2023
    The United Auto Workers Strike Enters Day 4

    The auto workers’ strike, currently on its fourth day, shows no signs of ending as both sides remain at odds. On one side are the United Auto Workers (UAW), demanding a record contract in light of the record corporate profits. UAW President Shawn Fain warned that if they don’t receive better offers, they will intensify the strike even further.

    On the other side are the Big Three automakers – General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis – who claim to have put forth generous offers but stress the existence of limits. Stellantis, for instance, stated their goal is to secure a sustainable future for their UAW-represented employees amidst the automotive industry’s transformative phase.

    Talks have continued throughout the weekend with no resolution in sight, leading to immediate consequences. For instance, Ford has instructed 600 workers not to report to work at its Michigan Assembly Plant due to the strike’s impact on the paint shop. General Motors anticipates 2,000 workers will be out of work at its Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas due to a shortage of critical materials from another plant affected by the strike.

    The strike commenced at midnight on Friday, with approximately 9% of the UAW’s 150,000 union members participating. The first auto plants to join the picket lines were the General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, a Stellantis assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio, and a section of a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan.

    Typically, workers receive partial pay when a plant is idled, but in the case of a strike, companies argue against such compensation. The UAW has vowed to ensure that affected workers do not go without an income during this time.

    The UAW’s demand for a 40% pay increase remains on the table, alongside negotiations concerning pensions, cost-of-living adjustments, and quality of life improvements. President Biden has urged automakers to share their profits with workers and has sent Julie Su, the acting labor secretary, and Gene Sperling, a White House senior adviser, to assist with negotiations in Detroit. However, progress has been slow according to Fain, and negotiations are expected to continue on Monday.

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    – Image source: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images