By midnight (local time), the head of the auto industry’s largest US union has announced strikes at three factories after no agreement has been reached with major carmakers. He said this in a message distributed via X and Facebook Live platforms.
Shawn Fine, president of the United Auto Workers UAW union, said strikes will occur at one plant at three major automakers: the General Motors plant in Wentzville, Missouri; A Ford plant in Michigan, and a Stellandis plant in Ohio.
For example, Chevrolet Colorado is built in Wentzville. Stellandis is the parent company of brands like Jeep and Chrysler. Nearly 13,000 employees will be out of a job. “For the first time in our history, we are on strike with all three of The Big Three at the same time,” Fine said.
The UAW’s decision to choose targeted strikes keeps the union’s strike benefits in check. The UAW has a strike fund of $825 million (about 775 million euros). That amount pales in comparison to the billions in cash flow that automakers have built up thanks to strong profits from cars, trucks and SUVs built by UAW members.
The UAW wanted a 40 percent wage increase. Companies offered up to 20 percent, but without the concessions demanded by the union. The UAW also wants to eliminate tiered pay systems at the Big Three, which require new hires to stay on the job for eight years and earn the same as experienced workers. Car manufacturers don’t want to meet that demand either.
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