UAW Union Plans Targeted Strikes at Detroit Automakers, Including General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis

UAW Plans Targeted Strikes Against Detroit Automakers if Contracts Not Reached

Introduction

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union intends to carry out targeted strikes at specific plants owned by Detroit automakers, namely General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis, if tentative contracts are not reached, according to union officials. However, the plan may change depending on ongoing negotiations leading up to the Thursday deadline.

Targeted Strikes vs. National Strikes

Targeted strikes involve work stoppages limited to certain plants and focus on local contract issues. This approach differs from national strikes, where all union members across various plants participate, as was the case during the last round of negotiations with GM four years ago.

Strike Strategy and Potential Implications

UAW President Shawn Fain is expected to outline the strike strategy to union members during a Facebook Live event. If deals are not reached, the union has contemplated the possibility of striking at all three automakers and having approximately 146,000 UAW members participate in picket lines.

However, targeted strikes can present complexities, as the impact on other plants remains uncertain. Companies may respond by locking out workers or hiring permanent replacements. Nevertheless, targeted strikes would save the union money by reducing the number of members eligible for strike pay from the strike fund, which currently amounts to $825 million.

Financial Considerations and CEO’s Response

The strike fund pays each eligible member $500 per week, providing approximately 11 weeks of coverage if all members participate in a strike. However, this duration does not incorporate healthcare costs that the union would have to cover, potentially depleting the fund more rapidly. The UAW declined to comment on the reported strategy.

Following news of the union’s plan, Ford CEO Jim Farley expressed optimism about reaching an agreement with the UAW within the next two days. Negotiators are currently working diligently at the company’s offices to finalize a deal with the union.

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