International News

UAW: Collective Strike

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Author : Bozhou Marine
Update time : 2023-09-18 10:31:51

In the early morning of September 15, due to the breakdown of labor negotiations, about 13,000 auto workers from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union began a strike at the same time against the three major automakers General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.

On the eve of the strike, the UAW and the three major automakers negotiated late into the night on specific labor agreement issues. However, the two sides still had great differences on many core issues, including salary increases, sick leave and wage levels, and failed to reach an agreement by the deadline.

Therefore, union workers began a strike on September 15, mainly involving three factories of three auto giants:
  The General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, which produces Chevrolet Colorados, GMC Canyons and other models;
  Stellantis Assembly Center in Toledo, Ohio, which produces Jeep VVrangler models;
  The Ford Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, mainly produces Ford Ranger and Bronco models.

The union's main proposals include a 40% increase in hourly wages, a 32-hour reduction in working hours per week, increased holidays, a return to traditional pensions, the elimination of compensation levels, and increased retiree benefits.
If there is still no progress in negotiations, the scale of the strike may further expand in the next week or two.

Industry insiders say that lurking behind this are the problems that arise when car companies transition to electric vehicles. This change may be the biggest change in the history of the automotive industry and will have a major impact on companies and their workers.

As one of the three major automakers criticized, General Motors took the lead in responding, saying it had made "historic wage increase commitments" before the deadline and provided an unprecedented economic package in an effort to reach an agreement with the union. At the same time, the company also said in a statement early this morning that it is ready to return to negotiations and get people back to work as soon as possible "for the benefit of team members, customers, suppliers and communities across the United States."

Interestingly, as the conflict between the two parties continued to escalate, Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly stated: "The wages I pay to workers are higher than what the UAW wants."

The UAW is one of the largest workers' associations in the United States, with as many as 146,000 members in the "Detroit Big Three" -- General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis Group, accounting for approximately 56% of all workers in the U.S. auto manufacturing industry. The three major automakers operate multiple factories and hundreds of thousands of workers in the United States, involving thousands of parts suppliers. If there is still no progress in negotiations and the scale of the strike expands, it will also have a certain impact on the U.S. economy.

According to statistics, in the U.S. market, the three major car companies account for about 40% of the market share. Regarding the impact of this strike, some analysts said that if the strike lasts for a long time, dealers may face a shortage of vehicles and prices may also rise.

It is reported that the last strike in the U.S. auto industry occurred in 2019. At that time, General Motors workers went on strike for 40 days, causing GM losses of approximately US$3.6 billion. At the same time, Michigan also experienced a single-quarter economic recession. | Marine Light
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