UAW members vote to authorize strikes at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis

Aug. 28, 2023
The current contracts with Stellantis, General Motors, and Ford expire at 11:59 p.m. on September 14, and if agreements are not reached by that date, then up to 150,000 workers may be on strike.

In a recent vote, 97% of United Auto Workers (UAW) members chose to give union leaders the authorization necessary to call strikes against the Big Three automakers. According to the Associated Press, the current contracts with Stellantis, General Motors, and Ford expire at 11:59 p.m. on September 14, and if agreements are not reached by that date, then up to 150,000 workers may be on strike. This vote does not guarantee that a strike will happen.

When asked about the potential strike, President Joe Biden said, “I’ve been talking to the UAW.  Obviously, I’m concerned. I think that there should be a circumstance where the jobs that are being displaced and replaced with new jobs, they should go to the — the first choice should go to the UAW members that have had the job and the salary should be commensurate.”

UAW President Shawn Fain said, “Our members’ expectations are high because Big Three profits are so high. The Big Three made a combined $21 billion in profits in just the first six months of this year. That’s on top of the quarter-trillion dollars in North American profits they made over the last decade. While Big Three executives and shareholders got rich, UAW members got left behind. Our message to the Big Three is simple: record profits mean record contracts.”

Reuters is reporting that GM, Ford, and Stellantis want to reach a deal that is “fair to workers but also gives the companies flexibility, as the industry shifts to electric models that have fewer parts and require less labor.”

CNN explains that electric vehicles (EVs) can be assembled in one-third of the time required to build a traditional gas-powered car. In addition, EVs are often built at plants that are owned by joint ventures with battery makers, meaning that these autoworkers there are not directly employed by the Big Three and are often paid far less than UAW members. The union is hoping to force the automakers to have jobs at their battery plants be comparable to UAW wages at the automakers.

According to the UAW, the union’s demands include cost of living wage increases to offset inflation, the right to strike over plant closures, improved retiree benefits, the elimination of tiered wages and benefits, as well as more paid time off.

In a recent article, CNBC broke down the monetary implications of such a large strike. “The UAW has more than $825 million in its strike fund, which it uses to pay eligible members who are on strike. The strike pay is $500 per week for each member — up from $275 per week last year. Assuming 150,000 or so UAW members covered by the contracts, strike pay would cost the union about $75 million per week. A fund of $825 million, then, would cover about 11 weeks. One caveat: that doesn’t include health-care costs that the union would cover, such as temporary COBRA plans, that would likely drain the fund far more quickly.”

Sponsored Recommendations

Arc Flash Prevention: What You Need to Know

March 28, 2024
Download to learn: how an arc flash forms and common causes, safety recommendations to help prevent arc flash exposure (including the use of lockout tagout and energy isolating...

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...