DETROIT, MI – United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Big Three Detroit carmakers – General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis – are still far apart on negotiations to avert a strike that is becoming more and more likely to happen later this week as the September 14th deadline looms ever closer. If the strike does indeed come to pass on Thursday, it could provide a major source of upheaval amongst all parties involved: the UAW, members of the automotive industry, and the car buying public.
The UAW, which represents over 150,000 workers, has been in deep negotiations with automakers for the past two months, with little progress being made on either side. At the beginning of this week, the UAW softened its stance slightly on one of its demands; instead of insisting upon a cumulative 40 percent pay increase over the next five years for its members, the union lowered the demand to a percentage in the mid-30s instead.
Unfortunately, reports indicate that this has not helped much, and that the two sides are still butting heads over many of the UAW’s demands; union President Shawn Fain has repeatedly turned down offers made by the “Big Three” automakers and criticized them for what he called “corporate greed.”
But with the contracts of UAW workers set to expire as of midnight on Thursday, September 14, members could immediately authorize a strike, bringing assembly lines in Detroit to a halt.
Things are moving but they’re moving very slow and we’ve got a long way to go in four days,” Fain said on Sunday; as of the time of the publication of this article, there are now only two days remaining. “I know that our demands are ambitious, but I’ve told the companies repeatedly, I’m not the reason that members’ expectations are so high. What’s driving members’ expectations are the Big Three’s profits. You cannot make $21 billion in profits in half a year and expect members to take a mediocre contract.”
Experts have noted that a strike could have severe a financial impact upon Stellantis, Ford, General Motors – as well as related businesses such as franchised dealers – in the amount of up to $5 billion in losses or more; in addition, this would also have a trickle-down effect upon practically every aspect of the automotive industry. The overall impact would depend on the length of the strike, but any amount of time, no matter how brief, would hurt all involved.
UAW’s demands from Detroit’s “Big Three automakers include large pay raises, in addition to adjusting compensation for new workers by eliminating workers’ tiers; restoring cost of living adjustments, defined benefit pensions and retiree medical benefits; more paid time off and potentially a shorter work week; and several other measures, including increasing pension payments.
Christopher Boyle is an investigative journalist, videographer, reporter and writer for SEARCHEN NETWORKS® as well as other independent news and media organizations in the United States. Christopher works on a wide variety of topics and fields, has been featured in print and online in a variety of publications, from local to national, and helps keep a keen-eye on what’s happening in the automotive world for Auto Buyers Market.