The United Automobile Workers union has increased pressure on Ford Motors and General Motors, extending their strike on Friday to two additional car assembly plants. They claim that the companies have not done enough to meet the union’s demands for higher wages and benefits.
This is the second phase of the strike that began on September 15 in three plants owned by G.M. Ford and Stellantis (parent company of Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram). The union announced that it would not extend the strike to Stellantis because of progress made in negotiations.
Shawn Fain is the president of U.A.W. He said that workers in a Ford factory in Chicago and a G.M. The Lansing, Mich. factory will be closed on Friday. G.M. G.M. Ford produces the Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility, and Lincoln Aviator at its Chicago plant.
Ford and G.M. “Ford and G.M.
Ford’s Chicago factory employs approximately 4,600 U.A.W. G.M.’s Lansing factory has 2,300 workers who are union members. More than 25,000 U.A.W. members, including those who left earlier, are now on strike. The three companies were asked to stop work. Together, the three automakers employ almost 150,000 U.A.W. members.
Workers at 38 G.M. The U.A.W. The U.A.W. The U.A.W.
The U.A.W. The U.A.W. is demanding that workers receive a significant wage increase. They began the negotiations by demanding a raise of 40 percent, citing the profits generated by all three companies over the past decade as well as the sizeable pay increases received by their C.E.O.s over the past four years.
Each company has offered about 20 percent per year. Ford and the union reached an agreement on other demands. These include cost-of-living adjustments in the event of a new inflation spike and the right for workers to strike when the company closes its plants.
“Fain out-negotiates the car companies and has fun calling them names while he makes them dance,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan professor of business who follows the automotive industry. “He gets Ford to give a little more one week in order to avoid being the target of another plant closure. Next week, he tells Ford that they haven’t done enough and shuts down one of their factories.
The union reported that the parties had met regularly, and on Thursday, the league had presented Stellantis with its latest counteroffer. Teams of U.A.W. negotiators. The U.A.W. On Wednesday, Mr. Fain attended a meeting.
The union leader delayed his online remarks for almost 30 minutes due to what he described as “a flurry” of interest by the companies regarding a serious bargaining matter. He did not give details.
Jim Farley, Ford’s C.E.O., stated on Friday that Ford and the U.A.W. Ford and the U.A.W. were “very close” in a deal but differed on contract terms for employees at four battery factories that the company plans to build. He told reporters in a conference call that if the U.A.W. wanted a record contract, they already had it.
The company believes that discussions regarding the battery plants shouldn’t delay the negotiations for a four-year contract because the projects won’t be finished for at least two years.
The U.A.W. The U.A.W. The union leaders are worried that automakers may use the switch to electric vehicles as an excuse to reduce wages and the number of unionized workers.
The union wants to include workers in battery factories that are owned by automakers, whether partially or completely, in the national contract with U.A.W. Mr. Fain said that workers in battery factories face more hazardous working conditions but are paid less than union members in vehicle assembly plants.
Automakers say they can’t include workers at battery factories in their national contracts because the majority of these plants are joint ventures between foreign companies such as L.G. Energy Solution or SK On.
Only G.M. The plant in Lordstown that it shares with L.G. Energy Solution has begun producing batteries. Ford and SK On are building three battery factories in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Ford announced this week that it would stop work on a battery plant that was to be built in Marshall, Michigan, because it wasn’t certain it could produce products at a competitive price. Ford will determine the size of Marshall once it has an idea about how much it costs to make batteries.
Mr. Farley stated that the production of battery plants will not lead to the loss of U.A.W. Ford has other jobs. Ford employs more than G.M. with 57,000 U.A.W. The company employs 57,000 U.A.W. Stellantis.
In a press release, Fain refuted Ford’s description of the negotiations. He claimed that the U.A.W. The company has yet to respond to the “comprehensive” proposal that the union submitted on Monday. Mr. Fain stated that the two sides are still “far apart” in terms of retirement benefits and job security for workers during the transition to electric cars. “Name the time, place and people you want us to be at in order to negotiate a fair contract with our members,” said Mr. Fain.
Mary T. Barra – G.M.’s Chief Executive, criticized the union’s “upping the rhetoric and theatrics” and stated that U.A.W. leaders “had no real intention to reach an agreement.”
“We need U.A.W. She said that she was “clearly intent on reaching an agreement immediately” and had brought the U.A.W. to the table. If they do anything else, it puts our collective future in danger.
This week, tensions have risen on the picket line. Five strikers were injured by a G.M. car after they were struck on the picket lines. The union reported that other confrontations took place at picket lines in California, Massachusetts, and Michigan.
“We won’t be intimidated to back down,” said Fain, who has often compared the strike with a “war against corporate greed.”
Stellantis, in a statement released on Thursday, criticized Mr. Fain’s description of the negotiations and accused the union of violence. He claimed that strikers had cut tires off trucks and harassed employees who were not on strike at the parts warehouses.
Stellantis stated that the deliberate use of violent and inflammatory rhetoric was dangerous and needed to be stopped. Stellantis said that the companies were not “the enemy” and we weren’t at war. We respected our employees’ rights to speak out for their positions, including their right to picket peacefully. But the violence has to stop.”
This strategy, which involves striking only at a few locations but extending the walkouts across all three automakers’ plants, differs from U.A.W.’s usual approach, where they halt all or most operations in one company. In 2019, G.M. workers went on strike. After 40 days, a tentative deal was reached.
Mr. Fain said that the strategy was designed to keep companies guessing as to which parts of their operation would be targeted next in order for the union to improve its negotiating position. The three first plants that were hit by the strike produce some of the most profitable automakers, including the Chevrolet Colorado and Ford Bronco.
A limited strike can also reduce the profits of the companies while limiting the damage done to local businesses, the national economy, and their suppliers.
The union will also incur more financial costs if the strike is extended. The association pays striking workers $500 per week from its $825 million fund.