UAW strike live updates: Deadline nears with no new contract agreement for 146,000 workers

UAW strike live updates: Deadline nears with no new contract agreement for 146,000 workers
  • PublishedSeptember 15, 2023


Whitmer says both sides should be looking for wins

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has autos top of mind.

She spent part of today at the Detroit Auto Show, checking out new makes and models.

But she said her office has been in touch with the UAW and Big Three automakers for the last month and a half about labor negotiations. 

She said they need to come to an agreement that works for all parties. It’s possible to reach a deal that benefits both the UAW and Big Three, she said.

Whitmer said she’s been in contact with President Joe Biden and federal officials regularly on the possible strike and contract negotiations. 

Ford says its got future of workers — and company — in mind

As the threat of a UAW walkout grew nearer, Ford said it was doing its part to avoid a strike.

“Ford has bargained in good faith in an effort to avoid a strike, which could have wide-ranging consequences for our business and the economy. It also impacts the very 57,000 UAW-Ford workers we are trying to reward with this contract,” it said in a statement late tonight.

It said it had employees and the future top of mind in the negotiations.

“Ford remains absolutely committed to reaching an agreement that rewards our employees and protects Ford’s ability to invest in the future as we move through industry-wide transformation,” the statement said.

Starting small would let UAW stretch its strike fund

Estimates have projected that the union’s $825 million fund, designed to pay eligible workers $500 a week while picketing, would support a strike of up to 11 weeks by its 146,000 members at all three automakers.

By targeting just one plant at each of the Big Three at first, the UAW could make that money go further.

It would need to distribute strike pay to just the 12,700 workers at the three chosen sites initially.

Walkouts set for three sites in three states

Fain said three units, one at each of the three manufacturers, would be the first to picket, starting at midnight.

Those sites are:

  • GM: Wentzville, Missouri, Assembly Plant
  • Stellantis: Toledo, Ohio, Assembly Plant
  • Ford: Wayne, Michigan, Assembly Plant — Final Assembly & Paint

The UAW plans a major rally for downtown Detroit on Friday afternoon.

With clock ticking, UAW makes plans to walk

Two hours before the deadline, Fain told members to be prepared to strike.

“We will strike all three of the Big Three at once,” he said, adding that negotiations continue and a deal could still be reached before midnight.

Biden in touch with UAW and auto companies

Hours before the deadline, the White House said President Joe Biden had been in touch with UAW President Shawn Fain, as well as leaders of the major auto companies, to discuss the status of ongoing negotiations.

The White House says the administration has been monitoring the economic implications of a possible strike.

Automakers push back

Ford, GM and Stellantis have said they negotiated in good faith and have pushed back against union demands they say are excessive — in some cases warning that big pay hikes could cut into investments needed to make the transition to electric vehicles.

Read the full story here.


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