UAW union extends strike against automotive factories
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which protects workers in the auto industry, expanded its coordinated strike in the United States on Friday against General Motors and Chrysler parent Stellantis, but said it had made real progress in talks with Ford, this after the UAW contracts expired more than a week ago.
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Automakers, like their global counterparts, have focused on cost reductions, in some cases including job cuts, to help accelerate the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) from vehicles powered by gasoline.
The Auto Workers Union will expand its strike against parts distribution centers throughout the United States at GM and Stellantis, extending their simultaneous and unprecedented walkouts that began with one assembly plant at each of the Detroit Three. UAW President Shawn Fain, in a Facebook livestream, said that by attacking distribution centers, this turns the strike into a nationwide event.
"We'll be everywhere, from California to Massachusetts, from Oregon to Florida," Fain said.
Fain said earlier this week that further strikes could be avoided if companies showed "significant progress" towards an agreement.
"Stellantis and GM in particular are going to need a big boost," Fain said. He said they have more work to do at Ford, but "we want to recognize that Ford is showing that they are serious about reaching a deal."
The union will also invite President Joe Biden to attend the protests. The president has expressed his support for the union's demands for better wages and benefits. Ford said he continues to negotiate, adding that "we have more work ahead of us before we can reach an agreement."
The broader strike will not include at this time plants that make highly profitable trucks like GM's Chevy Silverado and Stellantis' Ram. About 12,700 workers demonstrated at plants in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio on September 15. Those plants produce the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado, along with other popular models.
Responding to news of progress at Ford, Arthur Wheaton, a professor of collective bargaining at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, said, "I'm not surprised, and that's primarily because Ford has a long history of stronger labor relations." solid."
The standoff is fueling concerns about industrial action prolonged that could disrupt production and affect the supply chain and affect the economic growth of the United States. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday shows significant support among Americans for striking auto workers.
The strike has become a focus of attention for Biden and the Republican candidates who want to replace it. A UAW invitation to Biden would be a notable overture from the union to the White House, which it has so far kept at arm's length.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre was asked Thursday if Biden plans to visit one of the sit-ins. She refused to answer, but said that "That all parties remain at the negotiating table is positive. "It's important that we reach a win-win agreement."
Fain has said Detroit automakers have failed to share their huge profits with workers while enriching executives and investors. GM President Mark Reuss this week rejected those claims, saying the current offer to the union would be generous and that company profits have been reinvested in the transition to electric vehicles.
Automakers have proposed 20% increases in four and a half years, while the UAW seeks 40%. The union also wants to end a tiered pay structure that it says has created a large gap between new and older employees.
S&P said the strikes, which began on September 15, were likely to last several weeks., which could reduce US gross domestic product in the third quarter by 0.4% and cause "shock" in global automotive supply chains. GM, Ford and Stellantis have said they are developing contingency plans for new work stoppages in the United States.
Ford reached a last-minute deal to avoid a strike at its Canadian operations Tuesday night. Unifor, which represents about 5,600 Canadian auto workers, had been threatening to strike at Ford's three plants in the country.
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