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UAW strike against Detroit Three automakers enters third day

Published Sep 17, 2023 06:03AM ET Updated Sep 17, 2023 06:51PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: United Auto Workers members hold up strike signs across from the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, U.S., September 15, 2023. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo
 
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By David Shepardson

(Reuters) -The United Auto Workers strike against the Detroit Three automakers entered its third day on Sunday with no immediate resolution on the horizon.

Union negotiators and representatives of General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F) and Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) were set to resume talks starting Sunday, following the start of the most ambitious U.S. industrial labor action in decades. This is the first time the UAW has gone on strike against all three automakers simultaneously.

The coordinated strike comes at a time when Americans' approval of labor unions is at its highest point in decades even as membership in unions remains largely unchanged.

UAW President Shawn Fain told MSNBC on Sunday that progress in the talks has been slow. The UAW resumed talks with GM on Sunday, and will do so with Stellantis and Ford on Monday.

“I don't really want to say we're closer,” he said. “It's a shame that the companies didn't take our advice and get down to business from the beginning of bargaining back in mid-July.”

Asked in a subsequent appearance on CBS Face the Nation whether workers would walk out at more plants this week, Fain said the union was "prepared to do whatever we have to do."

About 12,700 UAW workers remain on strike as part of a coordinated labor action targeting three U.S. assembly plants - one at each of the Detroit Three automakers after the prior four-year labor agreements expired at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Negotiators for the UAW and Ford had "reasonably productive discussions" toward a new contract on Saturday, the union said, while Chrysler-parent Stellantis said it hiked its offer, proposing raises of 20% over a four-and-a-half-year contract term, including an immediate 10% hike. That matched proposals from GM and Ford.

The proposals are about half the 40% wage hike the UAW is demanding through 2027, including an immediate 20% boost.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who has signaled support for the union's efforts, has had acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and advisor Gene Sperling speaking to the UAW and the automakers during the talks.

An administration official said on Sunday that Biden believes new agreements with the automakers should ensure that auto jobs going forward are good middle class jobs.

Mark Stewart, the North American chief operating officer for Stellantis, told reporters Saturday the UAW rejected a proposal to resume operations at an assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois, noting its offer had been contingent on reaching agreement before the contract expiration.

In late February, Stellantis indefinitely idled operations at the Belvidere plant, citing rising costs of electric vehicle production.

The UAW criticized the company position on the Illinois plant saying now "they are now taking it back. That’s how they see these workers. A bargaining chip."

Stellantis said late Saturday it is willing to negotiate about the plant's future. "The truth is UAW leadership ignored Belvidere in favor of a strike," the company said.

The strikes have halted production at three plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri that produce the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado, along with other popular models. GM has been struggling to launch its new EVs and a prolonged UAW strike could hurt those efforts even if it has a chance of helping in the short term, analysts said.

Evercore ISI analyst Chris McNally said in a Sunday research note he expects plants that build more profitable pickup trucks like Ford's F-150, GM's Chevrolet Silverado and Stellantis' Ram to be the next strike targets if the walkout continues.

On Friday, Ford said it was indefinitely laying off 600 workers at a Michigan plant because of the impact of the strike at the facility, which makes the Bronco, and GM told some 2,000 workers at a Kansas car plant that their factory likely would be shut down Monday or Tuesday due to a lack of parts stemming from the strike at a GM Missouri plant.

Besides higher wages, the UAW is demanding shorter work weeks, restoration of defined benefit pensions and stronger job security as automakers make the EV shift.

UAW strike against Detroit Three automakers enters third day
 

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Comments (15)
FMGK Blue
FMGK Blue Sep 17, 2023 8:05PM ET
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UAW = terrorists. destroying American manufacturers will profit China. Criminals.
Peter Terry
Peter Terry Sep 17, 2023 8:05PM ET
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Jimmy Doodoo
JimmyD Sep 17, 2023 7:40PM ET
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"Americans' approval of labor unions is at its highest point in decades" that's a lie!
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 17, 2023 7:40PM ET
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While is is poor journalism for the writer to assert that without attributing it to a verifiable source, it is, in fact, true. Gallup Organization has been polling that question for decades. 71% of Americans now approve of labor unions, the highest since 1965.
Jimmy Doodoo
JimmyD Sep 17, 2023 7:40PM ET
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B.S.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 17, 2023 7:40PM ET
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Willfully ignorant... Must be MAGA.
Kiya Man
Kiya Man Sep 17, 2023 7:12PM ET
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Sep 17, 2023 6:27PM ET
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UAW wants 40% wage hike through 2027. Im a teamster who just got a ratified contract. We got about 3% a year for 3 years. Raising there pay 40% seems unreasonable. By the way , what effect do you think that will be on the price of new cars? They will price thier selves out of the market, as foreign cars will come in less expensive and more reliable
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Sep 17, 2023 6:27PM ET
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That is true
Brian Chong
Brian Chong Sep 17, 2023 6:27PM ET
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what the union folks doesn't comprehend is that as labor cost goes up so does automation which mean less demand for workers. you guys are shooting yourself in the foot.
Brian Chong
Brian Chong Sep 17, 2023 6:27PM ET
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Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia all make better reliable cars.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 17, 2023 6:27PM ET
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3% for 3 years as a teamster? Hmm. The Teamsters just procured a 48% raise over 5 years for UPS drivers.
Ge K
Ge K Sep 17, 2023 6:27PM ET
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Yup with double buck shot. Poor bsters don’t know the boat has an unstoppable leak and they will all drown.
Zoran Alijevic
Zoran Alijevic Sep 17, 2023 6:23PM ET
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Overpriced cars gonna be even more overpriced. They probably gonna shelf most of their workforce
Conrad Conrad
Conrad Conrad Sep 17, 2023 1:21PM ET
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It's unfortunate, but these great souls that work around the clock week after week just to enrich the filth that resides at the tops of these corporations most likely won't have the staying power. God bless them for their investment; they are using their savings to standup to the abuse these corporate degenerates have dealt out for decades. They have lined their pockets with Government grift from the new green agenda, and given NOTHING back to the workers that enrich them. GM is nothing but a Government hand out sponge starting with 2008 crash, and Barra is just a flat out JOKE! A Peter principled organization starting with her - YIKES!
Ge K
Ge K Sep 17, 2023 1:21PM ET
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Keep voting the wrong way.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Sep 17, 2023 12:17PM ET
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union workers in most manufacturing companies take Great pride in there work.the the American Auto companies are a good example.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 17, 2023 12:17PM ET
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True! The kind of worker pride those who click a mouse to sell a covered call do not know.
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Sep 17, 2023 12:17PM ET
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you obviously have never worked for or over a union establishment.
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Sep 17, 2023 12:14PM ET
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hard-working Americans deserve a living wage. rightwing minions trolling from their grandmothers' basements, leeching off her pension, are of course oblivious as to what this means...
Jon Arcade
Jon Arcade Sep 17, 2023 12:14PM ET
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Not a right vs left. 💩stop
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 17, 2023 12:14PM ET
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What Maximia is (correctly) observing is that the anti-union comments here are coming from known right-wingers.
Sep 17, 2023 12:10PM ET
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Soon there jobs will be taken over by a.i. and automation
JaneJohn Doe
JaneJohn Doe Sep 17, 2023 12:10PM ET
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Manufacturing jobs won't be taken over by AI. Robotics has already taken over many and will take a few more. What AI will take over are all the BS jobs held by people who can't tell the difference between"there" and "their".
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 17, 2023 12:10PM ET
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👍👍👍
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Sep 17, 2023 12:10PM ET
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JaneJohn Doe have you ever seen a Tesla plant. more robots than people
michael lambiase
michael lambiase Sep 17, 2023 11:11AM ET
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I hope they all end up jobless for being greedy. I would give anything just to make half of what they already make per hour.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Sep 17, 2023 11:11AM ET
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Michael is very jealous of people that can hold down good paying jobs. apparently he can't.
Conrad Conrad
Conrad Conrad Sep 17, 2023 11:11AM ET
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Wow! you should report your employer, because he is paying you less than minimum wage!
 
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