Above photo: UAW President Shawn Fain walks alongside other union members during a rally and practice picket near the Detroit Assembly Complex. David Rodriguez Munoz/Detroit Free Press.
Detroit, Michigan – United Auto Workers (UAW) members voted overwhelmingly, August 25, to grant authorization to call for strikes during ongoing contract negotiations between UAW and General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis motors companies if needed to win their demands in bargaining. Union members voted to authorize the strike by an average of 97% of voters who work for the three companies.
UAW President Shawn Fain said, “The Big Three is our strike target. And whether or not there’s a strike – it’s up to Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, because they know what our priorities are. We’ve been clear.” The UAW workers are fighting for a 46% wage increase, restoring their pensions, a 32-hour work week, and increased retiree benefits.
According to UAW, 98% of hourly workers and 99% of salaried workers at Ford voted to authorize the strike, 96% did at GM, and 95% at Stellantis.
UAW has not announced a strike as of now but if a strike does occur there is the potential for it to happen across all three companies for a 150,00-person strike. UAW has a strike fund of $825 million and in the event of a strike is prepared to pay the workers $500 a week in strike pay, which means they could maintain this strike pay for up to 11 weeks from existing funds if necessary.
When UAW members went on strike at GM in 2019 the strike cost GM $3.6 billion in profits. Whether a strike occurs this year and if it occurs across all three companies is yet to be seen, but if one does happen it will prove extremely costly for the automakers.