Autoworkers Strike Against Detroit Three Enters Third Day

Autoworkers Strike Against Detroit Three Enters Third Day – The strike by the United Auto Workers against the Detroit Three automakers is about to reach its third day on Sunday, with no apparent solution in sight. On Saturday, negotiators from the United Auto Workers and Ford Motor reported fairly productive talks regarding a potential new contract, as per the union’s statement. 

Meanwhile, Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, stated that they had improved their contract proposal. Approximately 12,700 UAW workers continue their strike, targeting three U.S. assembly plants—one associated with each of the Detroit Three automakers—following the expiration of the previous four-year labor agreements at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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Negotiations between the union and representatives from General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis resumed on Saturday, a day after the UAW launched one of the most ambitious industrial labor actions in the United States in decades. Stellantis stated that the primary bargaining talks are scheduled to recommence on Monday, with some subcommittee discussions set for Sunday at General Motors. 

UAW President Shawn Fain is slated to appear on two national news programs on Sunday. Stellantis announced on Saturday that it had increased its offer, suggesting a 20% wage increase over a four-and-a-half-year contract term, including an immediate 10% raise, aligning with proposals from GM and Ford.

These proposals represent approximately half of the UAW’s demand for a 40% wage increase through 2027, including an immediate 20% boost. Mark Stewart, the North American Chief Operating Officer for Stellantis, informed reporters on Saturday that the UAW declined a proposal to restart operations at the Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant, noting that their offer was contingent on reaching an agreement before the contract’s expiration.

In late February, Stellantis indefinitely halted operations at the Belvidere plant, citing the escalating costs of electric vehicle production. The UAW criticized the company position on the Illinois plant saying now “they are now taking it back. That’s how they see these workers. A bargaining chip.” Stellantis said late Saturday is willing to negotiate about the plant’s future. “The truth is UAW leadership ignored Belvidere in favor of a strike,” the company said.

The strikes have caused production stoppages at three facilities located in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri, where the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Colorado, and other popular vehicle models are manufactured. On Friday, Ford announced the indefinite layoff of 600 workers at a Michigan plant that produces the Bronco, citing the strike’s impact on the facility. 

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Meanwhile, GM informed approximately 2,000 employees at a Kansas car plant that their factory would likely need to be temporarily shut down on Monday or Tuesday due to a shortage of parts, stemming from the strike at a GM Missouri plant. In addition to higher wages, the UAW is pressing for shorter workweeks, the reinstatement of defined benefit pensions, and enhanced job security, especially as automakers transition toward electric vehicles.

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