The United Auto Workers or UAW union, which has been striking at key plants of General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler parent Stellantis, now plans to step up their actions, if there is no serious progress in negotiations by Friday noon ET, according to UAW President Shawn Fain.
In a video released online by the union, Fain said, “Autoworkers have waited long enough to make things right at the Big Three. We’re not waiting around, and we’re not messing around. So, noon on Friday, September 22nd is a new deadline.”
About 12,700 UAW members are continuing their Stand Up Strike at one each plant of Detroit’s Big Three since last Friday as the Thursday night deadline passed for automakers to reach deals with the workers.
GM Wentzville Assembly, Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex, as well as Ford Michigan Assembly Plant – Final Assembly and Paint, are the currently affected plants. Among the total striking employees, 3,300 are at Ford, 3,600 at GM, and 5,800 at Stellantis.
These selected plants reportedly produce highly profitable vehicles that continue to be in high demand.
The companies and UAW leadership had been negotiating for long to reach an agreement on workers’ demands to update contract terms and pay before the expiration of the then four-year collective bargain agreement that ended Thursday midnight.
The union’s major demands to the automakers include an immediate 20 percent wage increase followed by four annual 5 percent wage hikes, defined-benefit pensions, a reduced 32-hour workweek, and cost-of-living adjustments, among others.
The targeted strike, which the union had warned much earlier, started just after midnight Friday as talks between the union and companies’ management failed to agree on all of their demands. According to the union, the new strategy of a ‘stand-up’ strike is for getting their share of economic and social justice and will be out until they get it no matter how long it takes.
The union earlier said it planned to strengthen its walkout based on the process of negotiations with the companies. The latest announcement reportedly follows the union’s meeting with the management of the automakers.
On a combined basis, the union represents about 146,000 workers across the at Big Three.
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