What do the men and women who build vehicles for the Detroit Three (Stellantis, General Motors, and Ford) deserve to be paid for their hard work?
According to CBS News, workers are seeking a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, and the return of their pensions.
Although the automakers are making billions of dollars in profits, they have shown no interest in accommodating what they consider to be unreasonable requests by the UAW. And with the great distance between the positions of the two sides, a strike against some or all of the automakers seems imminent.
UAW leadership characterizes the issues between the automakers and its workers as a war between the corporate class and ordinary workers with both living under totally different conditions. While corporate employees get generous salaries, top-rate health care, and pensions, those who labor in the factories get substandard benefits and no pensions.
As a result of this great disparity in standards of living, workers voted overwhelmingly to strike if an agreement cannot be reached with the automakers. The cutoff date is September 14 at 11:59 p.m.
A strike lasting only 10 days would likely cost the three automakers nearly a billion dollars. Further, with limited vehicle inventory, especially electric vehicles, the automakers are vulnerable and are not in a position to withstand a prolonged walkout.
However, if the automakers give into the workers’ requests, they will pass the expense onto the consumer in the form of a more expensive vehicle.
Is there enough time for the two sides to reach an agreement and avert a strike? Each day will bring us closer to the answer to that question. Stay tuned.