Autoworkers are on the verge of a historic strike

The United Auto Workers (UAW) are considering a historic strike against Detroit automakers, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, threatening to walk off the job if demands for improved contracts aren’t met.

Strike details: UAW’s President Shawn Fain outlined the possibility of strike, set to begin at 11
* The strike would initially involve workers at three plants: a GM assembly plant in Missouri, a Stellantis assembly plant in Ohio, and part of a Ford plant in Michigan.
* The strike strategy, branded the “stand up strike,” would involve only a portion of the 150,000 union members walking off the job at targeted auto plants, with additional locations following, depending on the progression of the bargaining.

Historical shift: This union action is a departure from UAW’s traditional approach.
* Previously, the UAW targeted one automaker at a time until a deal was reached, pushing the other two to match the deal.
* This time, the union plans to strike at all three automakers simultaneously.

The bargaining: Shawn Fain’s bargaining approach is confrontational and demands substantial economic upgrades.
* Fain argues that UAW members should get 40% pay raises comparable to CEO wage increases, along with the restoration of pension and retiree healthcare, and cost of living adjustments.
* He has criticized previous UAW leaders for making deals that did not favor the union’s members.

The counter: The automakers argue that they have already made substantial offers.
* Their most recent offers include wage increase proposals of up to 20%. However, UAW argues these offers don’t sufficiently address years of stagnant wages.
* While automakers have also proposed cost of living protections, the union believes these offers wouldn’t adequately cover the expected inflation over the next four-and-a-half years.

Implications: The proposed strike has potential ramifications not just for the companies, but for the broader U.S. economy.
* A six-week strike involving all of the about 150,000 UAW auto union members could shave an estimated 0.2% off fourth-quarter GDP.

View original article on NPR

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