US autoworkers are likely to take on a historic strike

US autoworkers are likely to take on a historic strike


The United Auto Workers union, which represents more than 150,000 employees in firms that produce U.S.-made automobiles, has been involved since July 2023 in talks on labor that it has to go through annually with each of the 3 major automakers that are unionized.

In late August, it was not certain whether the UAW would sign an extension of their agreement in conjunction with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, the automaker that makes Chrysler along with 13 more brands of vehicles in the United States – within their upcoming deadline. It was reported that the agreements expire on 11:59 p.m. September. 14..

The union’s leadership eschewed the traditional handshakes that it typically holds for these automakers. They are commonly referred to as”the Big Three or Detroit Three. Instead, the union hosted a photos at its grassroots UAW leaders met with members of the ranks at one Ford and at one GM, GM in addition to at a Stellantis factory. On August. 25, the UAW declared that 97 percent of its members agreed to strike “if the Big Three refuse to reach a fair deal.” This is an important achievement.

I’m a labor historian who has researched the background of UAW collective bargaining together with The Detroit Three. In light of the fact that it appears that the UAW is making significant demands during a time of increasing the level of union determination and ambition, I believe that it is reasonable to speculate whether U.S. automakers are the next company to be hit by strikes.

in 2023 there were strike by screenwriters, actors as well as health care workers and hotel workers in 2023, and there was also vigorous organizing by warehouse workers and delivery services offered by Amazon, UPS and FedEx.

The strike could stop Detroit GM, Ford and Stellantis.

Three automakers with expiring contracts have raked in more than $250 billion in profits reported from the course of their North American operations over the last decade.

And UAW leadership has pledged to collect what they believe is their members the right share of profits by boosting wages and more secure job security.

The UAW’s new president, Shawn Fain, frequently denounces corporate greed and has announced the union’s intention to strike. The block has been on strike against a single automaker at each time, including on the eve of 2019, against GM.

It could be different this time.

“The Big Three is our strike target,” Fain has stated. “And whether or not there’s a strike, it’s up to Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.”

The UAW claims to have greater than 825 millions in its strike fund in order to assist workers to make it without pay in the event that they decide to quit work.

Autoworker Ray Dota picketed outside the shuttered General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, on Sept. 23rd on the 23rd of September, 2019 in the midst of the latest UAW strike. Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Fain’s leadership

Fain has stated his intention to not keep the relatively friendly relations with the Big Three that led to a number of agreements during the last few years.

A lot of the union’s new leaders are also members of The UAW’s Unite All Workers for Democracy caucus, which has launched a very successful campaign that called for an election directly for the union’s top leaders in 2022. They will also hold runoff elections scheduled for 2023. They are hoping to avoid an occurrence of the same scandal that led to the federal prosecutorial saga for more than twelve UAW officials between 2017 and 2022.

Two former UAW presidents from around the world were sentenced to prison time prison after being found guilty of taking union funds. The new group of UAW leaders took control of the UAW under the supervision of the court in March 2023.

Looking for equal pay for EV workers

As part of their more aggressive strategy as part of their bolder strategy, the UAW’s new leadership has criticized joint ventures that are being formed between three automakers and foreign electric battery manufacturers.

They would like to see Ford, GM and Stellantis offering UAW-level benefits and wages in all joint venture-operated factories located in the U.S. making batteries for their electric vehicles. Today, the workers in joint-venture factories make far lesser than counterparts who make vehicles powered by fossil energy sources.

It is believed that the UAW has been successful in organising the joint venture, Ultium Cells in Lordstown, Ohio. However, the pay for employees in the old General Motors plant, which is now a joint battery venture run by GM along with LG Energy, starts at $16.50 an hour. In the year in which GM shut down car assembly in the factory, the workers were paid $32 an hour..

The UAW has other goals, which Fain first stated in a Facebook live event in August. 1st 2023.

They also provide greater job security as well as significant wage increments for UAW-represented employees who are covered by the union’s contract that include GM, Ford and Stellantis.

It will also aim to eliminate the two-tier wage structure that was agreed to in 2007 and where new hires earn significantly less than veterans and also the reinstatement of cost-of-living-adjustments that the UAW has also agreed to in 2007 to help businesses survive the Great Recession.

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