Wayne, MI

UAW Officially on Strike

Matthew Donnellon
Photo byThomas Good (Wikimedia Commons)

The deadline has passed.

Talks broke down.

There is no deal.

The United Auto Workers are officially on strike.

This strike will be the first of its kind. Never before has the UAW struck against all three car companies, Ford, GM, and Stellantis.

Reports indicate that workers are already walking off the job. However, it is not the entire union striking at once.

Instead workers are leaving three specific plants, across Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri.

This is being called a “Stand Up Strike” a new strategy the union is claiming will help put pressure on the car companies..

“As time goes on, more locals may be called on to ‘Stand Up’ and join the strike,” the union told members. “This gives us maximum leverage and maximum flexibility in our fight to win a fair contract at each of the Big Three automakers.”

Currently, there are 3,600 UAW members striking in GM’s Wentzville Missouri plant, another 3,300 members on strike in Wayne, Michigan’s Ford Truck factory, and another 5,800 striking Stellantis’ Toledo plant. 

These were chosen carefully by the UAW and reflect a strategy that will ensure a large number of suppliers and dealers are affected, while reducing the number of UAW workers that, at least initially, are on strike and receiving strike pay,” said Patrick Anderson. CEO of Anderson Economic Group.

The strike occurred because no deal could be made as none of the big 3 automakers wanted to pay the unions wage and benefits demands, despite all the companies record billions in profit. 

GM announced that they will keep negotiating in good faith and said they will make an effort to end the strike as quickly as possible.

Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNN that the company could afford the UAW’s demands. UAW President Shawn Fain claims that Farley’s claims are untrue.

Signs point to a possible deal as the union picked plants that would allow the companies to continue making cars. This is instead of the mac damage tactics many auto forecasters feared. 

It’s not the way that causes maximum pain. Maybe it’s a sign they’re getting close and they’re just trying to ramp up the pressure. This is a very unconventional way of negotiating and striking. I think he’s doing a good job of creating confusion,” said Jeff Schuster, global head of automotive for GlobalData.

The strike comes just another high profile labor struggle this year. Earlier this year, UPS workers gained massive improvements to their salary and benefits package. And the ongoing WGA and SAG strikes have shined a spotlight on labor deals.

The UAW also recently got backing from President Joe Biden.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI

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