UAW members approve possible strikes at GM, Ford and Stellantis


New York
CNN

Members of the United Auto Workers union have overwhelmingly approved strikes next month at the nation’s three unionized automakers. in front

The union said 97% of those participating in the strike authorization voted in favor of possible strikes at General Motors, Ford and Stellandis, which sell vehicles under the Ram, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler names. The three companies have over 145,000 UAW members.

“Our union’s membership is fed up with going paycheck to paycheck while the corporate elite and billionaire class continue to act like bandits,” said UAW President Shawn Fine.

however, The vote does not mean there will be a strike at the three automakers. Empowers union leadership to call a strike if an agreement cannot be reached with management before the contract expires. This is a common negotiating tactic before a strike deadline. Even with recent increases in strikes across the U.S., most labor negotiations end with an agreement, not a strike.

All companies issued statements saying they were committed to reaching agreements with the union without a strike.

“Discussions between the company and the UAW’s bargaining team continue to be constructive and cooperative,” Stellantis’ statement said. “In our view, a strike will benefit no one – our customers, our dealers, the community and, most importantly, our employees.”

“We look forward to working with the UAW on creative solutions at a time when our dramatically changing industry needs a skilled and competitive workforce more than ever,” Ford said in its statement.

“Every day we negotiate in good faith to support our team members, our customers, the community and the business,” GM said in its statement.

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Speaking to reporters in Lake Tahoe, California, President Joe Biden said Friday he was “concerned” about a possible strike as he weighed negotiations.

“I’ve been talking to the UAW and obviously I’m concerned,” Biden said. “I think the jobs that are replaced by displacement and new jobs should be available to UAW members who had first-choice jobs, and the pay should be commensurate with that.”

The White House has so far taken a neutral stance in the negotiations, so Biden’s calls for equal pay are notable as they support the union’s position on higher wages.

The contracts with the three automakers all expire on September 14 at 11:59 pm ET.

Fein and the UAW are talking about ambitious goals in this year’s negotiations. The UAW wants to roll back contract provisions it abandoned in 2007 negotiations as the companies all reported massive losses and GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcies and federal bailouts less than two years ago.

Earlier offers included the end of the traditional pension scheme. Since 2007, new hires have only been offered a 401(k) plan, not a pension plan that pays a set amount each month after they retire. New hires also lost health care coverage for retirees. And many new hires are paid less than senior employees, at least initially.

The union also wants to roll back the cost-of-living adjustment to protect workers from inflation.

Additionally, Fine has voiced support for increasing current wages by about 40% over the life of the contract, which he said would be comparable to the raises automakers’ chief executives have received in recent years. He has voiced four days a week, 32 hours of work without any reduction in wages.

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He also wants protection against job losses and plant closings, especially as automakers have announced plans to shift their product lines from traditional gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles.

EVs need about a third less Working hours for assembly than Because EVs don’t require complex engines and transmissions, gas-powered cars require fewer parts. Many of the jobs making EVs will be at plants that have recently opened or are under construction to make EVs Batteries.

But all those plants are owned by joint ventures with battery makers like LG and Samsung. The workers at those plants are not going to be employees of GM, Ford or Stellantis. The plants pay or are expected to pay far less than UAW members pay at assembly, engine and transmission plants under these three contracts.

The UAW is demanding that automakers agree to what it calls a “mere shift” to EVs, with jobs at its battery plants comparable to automakers’ UAW wages. and Thursday, The The union reached a tentative agreement to significantly raise wages for workers at a battery plant in Warren, Ohio, operated by a joint venture between GM and LG.

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