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UAW Members Go on Strike

Last Friday approximately 13,000 of the nearly 150,000 of members of the United Autoworkers (UAW) at three assembly plants went on strike. Three US automakers – Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) – were impacted simultaneously for the first time in history. The strikes primarily impact facilities that produce highly profitable and high popular vehicles.

The UAW is negotiating with all three automakers at once and their proposals include a 40% hourly pay increase, a reduced 32-hour workweek, a shift back to traditional pensions, the elimination of compensation tiers, and a restoration of cost-of-living adjustments. Other items being discussed include enhanced retiree benefits and enhanced vacation and family leave benefits. The automakers have made proposals that address some of the UAW’s demands, including a double digit pay increase, but not all of them.

Ford Motor Company stated, “If implemented, the proposal would more than double Ford’s current UAW-related labor costs, which are already significantly higher than the labor costs of Tesla, Toyota and other foreign-owned automakers in the United States that utilize non-union-represented labor.” UAW President Shawn Fain has indicated that the 40% wage increase would be in line with CEO wage increases and that “the Big Three can afford to immediately give us our fair share." Negotiations are continuing.