Striking United Auto Workers (UAW) members from the General Motors Lansing Delta Plant picket in Delta Township, Michigan September 29, 2023.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union believes there is “more to be won” in ongoing contract negotiations with the Detroit automakers following five weeks of labor strikes against the companies, UAW President Shawn Fain said Friday.
His comments come despite record contract offers from General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis that now include 23% hourly pay increases during the terms of the four and a half-year deal.
“There is more to be won,” Fain said during an online broadcast. “These are already record contracts, but they come at the end of decades of record decline. So it’s not enough to be the best ever, when auto workers have gone backwards over the last two decades. That’s a very low bar.”
Last week Fain said the union was initiating a “new phase” of strikes and contract negotiations. Still, the union has not announced any additional strikes since initiating an unexpected walkout on Oct. 11 at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant that produces highly profitable pickup trucks and SUVs.
The UAW hasn’t expanded strikes at GM since Sept. 29 or at Stellantis since Sept. 22.
The strike at Ford’s Kentucky plant — responsible for $25 billion in revenue annually — marked a major escalation in the UAW’s targeted, or “stand-up,” strikes. It also represents a shift in strategy, as Fain had previously publicly announced the targets before the work stoppages occurred.
The UAW has been gradually increasing the strikes since the work stoppages began after the sides failed to reach tentative agreements by Sept 14.
About 34,000 U.S. automakers with the companies, or roughly 23% of UAW members covered by the expired contracts with the Detroit automakers, were on strike.
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