- UAW strike affects US economy.
- Demands for higher pay.
- Automakers face challenges.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is expanding its strike against some of America’s largest automobile manufacturers, extending the dispute over pay and benefits into its third week.
Ford and General Motors union leader Shawn Fain said 7,000 more workers will strike.
He stated that the latest action did not target Stellantis, reflecting new momentum in the negotiations.
In a dispute that has cast a pall over the US economy, roughly 18,000 employees were already on strike.
US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who is running for re-election, both visited the Detroit area this week to address the issue, which comes at a time when labor tensions are rising throughout the nation.
The union initiated negotiations seeking, among other things, a roughly 40% increase in pay over four years and an end to practices that grant new hires lower pay and fewer benefits.
The companies have maintained that the union’s demands would hinder their capacity for long-term investment in the US economy. They have retaliated with a roughly 20 percent pay rise and other concessions.
This week, on the picket line in Michigan, many employees expressed their readiness for a protracted struggle.
“People are exhausted. “We want there to be a middle class,” said Emily Yettaw, a 17-year GM employee. The company is generating billions of dollars in profits within the US economy.
Since labor contracts expired on September 14, the union, which represents 146,000 employees at the three companies, has been gradually increasing pressure on the automakers to reach an agreement in the interest of the US economy.
The most recent action extends the work stoppages to a Ford plant in Chicago that produces Explorers and a GM plant in Michigan that produces large crossover SUVs such as the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.
Prior union objectives included 38 facilities for the distribution of parts to dealers and three factories, one for each company.
In a message to employees, General Motors stated, “calling for additional strikes is merely for the sake of headlines, not actual progress in the US economy.”
The company reported that it had not received a “comprehensive” response since submitting a proposal on September 21. The offer was described as providing “historic wage increases and job security without jeopardizing our future in the US economy.”
Gerald Johnson, executive vice president for global manufacturing, stated, “We continue to be ready and willing to negotiate in good faith in order to reach an agreement that benefits you and does not benefit non-union manufacturers within the US economy.”
The economic impact of the action continues to be limited, but it’s increasing within the US economy.
In its first week alone, the standoff had caused an estimated $1.6 billion (£1.3 billion) in economic losses. Including more than $100 million (£81 million) in lost wages – a burden that is weighing on local economies.
In Wayne, Michigan, Jennifer Romero owns the Karma Coffee & Kitchen. Down the street from a decommissioned Ford plant, her store hangs a strike leaflet. Jennifer reports that store sales have been noticeably sluggish in the US economy.
She stated, “Our neighborhood consists primarily of blue-collar workers.” “If they aren’t working, they aren’t spending money, and if they’re not spending money, we’re not making money within the US economy.”
According to Wall Street analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities, the timing of the dispute “could not be worse” for the automakers, who face high investment costs and intense competition as the industry powers up production of electric vehicles within the US economy.
“This UAW debacle strike trajectory is like witnessing a slow-moving car accident on black ice,” he wrote in a Friday note within the US economy.
This is a pivotal time for Detroit and the future of the auto industry in the US economy, as we firmly believe that if GM, Ford, and Stellantis accept the agreement on the table, the future of the US auto industry will be very bleak within the US economy.
Many Detroit picket line workers will lose $500 (£410) per week in strike wages, but they stay dedicated this week.
“It’s time for ramen noodles and mac and cheese,” quipped GM employees in Ypsilanti. “No more Red Lobster within the US economy.”
“I don’t believe anyone is afraid to be out here,” added Kemi Hooker, 53, a 24-year GM employee. “We’ll do whatever it takes within the US economy.”