Auto Industry Strike: UAW and Big Three Fail to Agree on Terms

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

auto industry strike uaw and big three fail to agree on terms

After weeks of speculation over whether the UAW and Big Three automakers would come to an agreement, we have our answer: They didn’t. Last night, the Union launched a strike against Ford, GM, and Chrysler/Stellantis, taking almost 13,000 workers off production lines and factory floors across the country.

This is the first time in the UAW’s 88 years that it has taken on all three automakers at once, but Union officials have a unique plan to drive action. UAW President Shawn Fain said the Union would expand the strike in intervals to put more pressure on the auto giants, with plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri being the first to stop work.

The stoppage will put significant and immediate pressure on the production of popular models from all three companies and could drive retail prices up if an agreement can’t be reached soon. However, it also puts pressure on the workers, who will only receive a $500 payment from the Union if the strike extends past eight days. 

Union demands include a 36 percent wage increase over four years, including an 18 percent raise immediately and annual increases for the next three. The Union also wants a four-day workweek, more paid time off, fewer temp workers, and better pension benefits. They also asked for expanded protections for workers for strikes and other issues. 

As these things tend to go, early statements from both sides sound defiant. All three automakers stated that they were “disappointed” that the Union wouldn’t bend more to negotiations. Union members and officials say workers should be paid a fair wage and not held back in temporary positions lacking benefits. 

While an agreement is best for everyone, UAW officials have plenty more pain they can inflict. Ford alone has over 57,000 Union works, and the other two have around 90,000 more. The 13,000 people currently on strike could grow significantly before the two sides put ink to paper, but let’s hope it doesn’t get that far.  

[Image: Linda Parton via Shutterstock]

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  • Alan Alan on Sep 17, 2023

    I support the UAW to a degree. Even though auto manufacturer costs/investments have increased with the advent of the EV push vehicle prices have risen considerably over the past couple of years.

    The UAW needs to be mindful regarding the amount they are chasing.

    Another issue is China. Unless the US and EU block motor vehicle trade with China (including parts) the US manufacturers will become uncompetitive.

  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Sep 18, 2023

    UAW has the kernel of a good argument, but as usual allowed greed and hubris to intervene and now they find themselves standing outside, carrying a stupid sign and living on $500 a week. Corporate America would be much more amenable to a proposal like:

    -10% raise with 5% increases each year for the life of the agreement

    -401k with employer match up to a To-be Determined percentage of contribution.

    -A bonus plan that ties hourly and executive bonuses to similar metrics and payouts.

    -Temp or Flex workers allowed for a maximum of 12 or 18 months then have to either be hired or released.

    -5 day work week with OT after 40 hours and DT on weekends and holidays

    I work for a large multi-national corporation. If I demanded a 40% increase and a 4 day work week and a pension fund with guaranteed retirement, my laptop and badge would be collected on the spot and I'd be on the street. Come to the table with a serious proposal that takes the need of the company to profitably build cars and the manufacturers and public would take you a lot more seriously.

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.