Auto Worker's Plan Is New Strikes At Any Moment

Auto Worker's Plan Is New Strikes At Any Moment

Some UAW workers have been out for a month now, with an increasing amount seemingly every week as the UAW hopes to ratchet up pressure on the Big Three to get a better labor deal for their members. Typically, new walkouts have been announced on Fridays, but the UAW said today that, going forward, any new walkouts will be announced when they are to happen, and not just on Fridays. The chess match with the Big Three continues.

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Fain appeared in his address to members in a hoodie representing support from the Italian Federation of Metalworkers, or FIOM, because workers around the world should unite.

UAW President Shawn Fain Livestream Update 10/13/23

You can see all of Fain’s Friday remarks above, which Reuters watched:

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said on Friday that the union will not expand its strike against the Detroit Three automakers at the moment, but said its members would now walk out of additional facilities without warning rather than wait until Fridays to announce new plans.

[…]

“We’re not waiting until Fridays anymore,” [Fain] said. “Now there’s only one rule – pony up.”

The UAW strike has hit the one-month mark with more than 34,000 union members working at Ford, General Motors and Chrysler parent Stellantis out on strike, including those at Ford’s cash-cow Kentucky plant.

While Fain on Friday warned of potential strikes at all of the Detroit automakers, he reserved his harshest remarks for Ford, which he accused of trying to game the talks with inadequate offers, prompting Wednesday’s walkout.

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Referring to Ford CEO Jim Farley’s lucrative pay package, he said Farley should “go get the big checkbook – the one Ford uses when it wants to spend millions on company executives or Wall Street giveaways.”

Fain does seem pretty mad at Ford, which is a bit unexpected, because before all this began a disinterested observer would probably say that Ford had the friendliest relations with the union, followed by GM and Stellantis. That prior history hasn’t seemed to help much recently, though, via Automotive News:

“Ford thought they could sit back and not make further progress in bargaining because they thought they had the best deal on the table,” Fain said. “They stopped being interested in reaching a fair deal now and only became interested in gaming our system of announcing strike expansions on Friday. They thought they figured out the so-called rules of the game, so we changed the rules.”

If this is all highly irritating to executives at the Big Three, which is the whole point. At stake are billions of dollars and the future of the car industry in America, so there will be a deal at some point, after which Big Three executives will tell their boards that they really put the screws to the UAW, and the UAW will tell its members that it was all worth it, and then there might even be a handshake.