The United Automobile Workers union is currently preparing for a potential strike at Detroit's Big Three vehicle manufacturers due to strained contract negotiations. The deadline is approaching quickly, just before midnight on Thursday.
According to Union President Shawn Fain, the initial wage offers from General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis have been increased, but certain demands have been rejected. Fain expressed his dissatisfaction, stating that the offers on the table do not acknowledge the sacrifices and contributions made by the union members. Hence, the union is making preparations to stage an unprecedented strike against the companies.
The union's cause has garnered support from various politicians, including New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This potential strike would mark a historical event, as it would be the first time in the union's history that its members would simultaneously strike at all three major automakers.
The initial demands made by the union included a 40% raise over a four-year contract, but that has been reduced to 36%. Additionally, the union is advocating for raises that align with the cost of living, an end to tiered-wages for factory jobs, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, and increased pension benefits, among other key points.
Currently, the top pay for a factory worker stands at $32 per hour. Ford has offered a 20% raise over 4½ years, while GM proposed an 18% raise over four years, and Stellantis suggested a 17.5% raise. With approximately 146,000 members, the union is planning a "Stand Up Strike" strategy, keeping the companies unsure about where and when the next local walkout will occur, as stated by Fain.