United Auto Workers Threaten to Expand Strikes if Negotiations Stall

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has warned that it will escalate its strikes against the Detroit automakers unless “serious progress” is made in ongoing negotiations. The strikes, which began on September 15, have been carried out by UAW members at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant, as well as General Motors and Stellantis factories, for four consecutive days.

In a video posted on Facebook, UAW President Shawn Fain stated that if the Big Three automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis) do not engage in meaningful negotiation, more locals will be called upon to join the strike. The UAW claims that no new offers have been presented by the automakers since September 14 when the union made its proposals.

Contrary to some media reports, the most recent proposal was made by the UAW, not Stellantis, according to an anonymous source familiar with the negotiations. Stellantis confirmed that it has resumed negotiations and had a “constructive” discussion with union representatives, focusing on finding common ground. The company has offered an almost 21% increase in pay and is committed to resolving the issues at its idled Belvidere, Illinois, Jeep plant.

However, tensions remain high. The UAW rejected Stellantis’ pay increase offer of 21%, and CNBC reported that the proposal could result in the closure of 18 facilities, including distribution centers and Stellantis’ North American headquarters and technology center in Detroit.

Meanwhile, GM and Ford have announced layoffs of non-striking workers due to the impact of the strikes. The UAW will provide strike pay of $500 per week to these workers, even though they are not directly participating in the strike. The union currently has approximately $825 million in its strike fund.

The UAW and the automakers have been negotiating over pay raises, with the union initially demanding a 40% increase. The UAW has reportedly lowered its demand to 36%, while GM and Ford have countered with offers of 20% raises, all of which have been rejected. Stellantis’ latest offer stands at a 19.5% raise, increasing to 21% over the contract’s duration.

Negotiations between the UAW and the automakers have been ongoing. The talks with Ford were described as “reasonably productive,” while discussions with GM and Stellantis have not been elaborated upon.

In summary, the United Auto Workers are threatening to expand their strikes if negotiations with the Detroit automakers do not progress. The strikes have entered their fourth consecutive day, with no new offers from the automakers since the union made their proposals. Tensions continue as Stellantis’ offer has been rejected, and the potential closure of facilities looms. The UAW is providing strike pay to non-striking workers affected by the layoffs. Negotiations continue, with offers ranging from 19.5% to 36% raises on the table.