The United Auto Workers (UAW) has announced that there will be no immediate expansion to the labor current strike against the Big Three Detroit automakers (GM, Ford, Stellantis). However, UAW President Shawn Fain has indicated that the strike will now enter a new phase wherein new strike targets will be called when needed with little notice, rather than on Fridays as was the case previously. This weekend marks one month since the UAW launched its initial wave of strikes at the Big Three Detroit automakers.
UAW President Fain made the announcement via a livestream broadcast posted to social media. During his speech, Fain railed against corporate greed and income inequality, while also calling for workers beyond the Big Three automakers and around the world to unite against social injustice. Fain wore a red hoodie with the FIOM (Federazione Impiegati Operai Metallurgici) logo, showing solidarity with the Italian Federation of Metalworkers.
Fain also addressed negotiations with Ford, specifically the decision to strike at Ford’s Kentucky Truck plant. According to Fain, Ford owed the UAW a new offer this week, but negotiators from Ford failed to provide any meaningful progress from previous contract proposals. In response, the UAW called for an in-person meeting.
“So we said, ‘if you’re going to offer us nothing, you’re going to do it to our face with our full national negotiating team in the room,’” Fain said.
“It was not a long meeting,” Fain said. The UAW President said that Ford tried to hand over the same deal that was rejected two weeks ago.
“So at that point I said, ‘that’s all you have for us? Our members’ lives and my handshake are worth more than that. You just caused yourself Kentucky Truck plant,” Fain said.
Fain also addressed Ford’s subsequent statement regarding the Kentucky Truck plant strike.
“In that same statement, [Ford] admitted that Kentucky Truck generates $25 billion in revenue a year.” Fain said. “That’s $48,000 a minute. Our labor at Kentucky Truck generates more revenue each minute than thousands of our members make in a year.”
Later in his address, Fain indicated that progress in negotiations has been made. However, the deals proposed so far are not yet satisfactory.
“We remain in a very, very strong position. Already the wage offers we’ve received are more than the combined raises of the past 15 years. COLA is back on the table in a serious way. Our progression at Ford is back to where it was in the mid 1990s,” Fan said. “But the reason we need record contracts with these companies making record profits is because we are here to address decades of falling standards and unfair treatment of the American auto worker.”