97 Percent of UAW Members Approve Strike Action

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

In news that surprises no one, members of the UAW have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike should their contracts expire in mid-September.

These votes are generally seen as a formality, part of the union’s constitution and often viewed as part of the negotiation procedure. It doesn’t cement that there will or will be a strike but does give leverage in the bargaining process. “Our goal is not to strike,” UAW President Shawn Fain said earlier today during a Facebook Live event. “I want to make that very clear. Our goal is to bargain good agreements for our members.” He then went on to say how this particular vote prepares all hands in the event action is taken on the path to new contracts.

It is being reported that union demands include a 46 percent wage increase over the next four years, a 32-hour work week for 40 hours' pay, rolling over current supplemental employees to full-time, some cost-of-living adjustments, plus pensions and retiree health care for all. It is suggested these items could drive total labor costs over $100 per hour, nearly double the cost estimated to be borne by some foreign automakers and the crew at Tesla.

Readers with sharp memories will recall the Detroit Three have seen fat margins as of late, some of which were shared with UAW employees through profit-sharing payouts. Some 40,500 eligible workers at Stellantis may have pocketed up to $14,760 while The General paid out up to $12,750 to 42,300 eligible UAW hourly employees. Ford’s largesse was slightly smaller. However, temporary and supplemental workers don't receive profit-sharing checks, which is one of the points in this year’s negotiations.

The union says they have over $800 million in their war chest, with designs on doling out $500 per week in strike pay should job action be taken next month. As for rhetoric being slung around during these negotiations, former Ford CEO Mark Fields actually said the words “Wages don’t really matter much if you don’t have jobs.” Oof. A summary of the members' demands can be found here.

[Image: UAW]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • MrIcky MrIcky on Aug 28, 2023

    • When you are negotiating- you're first offer is always much higher than you expect to get for the sake of having room to move. Dont make too much out of specifics of demand
    • CEO pay is at all time high, overall profits crazy high despite market condition
    • No longer making 'price leader' cars, so per unit profit arguments are not good

    • vs
    • stock yields arent a good argument for UAW, dividends were all over the place
    • current performance is no guarantee of future performance and forecasters say BIG 3 need to make a warchest now to weather a future storm
    • current market is moving toward fewer different vehicle models vs more so real pressure to start closing plants is coming soon

    Sinn Féin probably won't blow things up, it will end up being a market adjustment with a bonus package and an easier path to a senior track to keep makers from turning over senior workers just to keep cost down. My bet is it will be a yawn fest.

    • See 2 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Aug 29, 2023

      "Sinn Féin probably won't blow things up"

      When did the Good Friday accords become rescinded?

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Aug 28, 2023

    This is going to get really ugly. If a strike drags on, you're going to see some Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers go out of business, causing new supply chain issues, for both the Big 3 and the transplants.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Aug 29, 2023

      I doubt we'd see a prolonged strike with a federal election looming

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.