The United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union has dropped its unfair labor practice charge against General Motors and Stellantis. The UAW filed the charge on August 31st with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), accusing the automakers of refusing to bargain in good faith. The UAW called for targeted strikes against all three of the Big Detroit automakers following the expiration of the previous labor contracts on September 14th.
According to a recent report from Reuters, the UAW dropped the charge against both automakers on Friday, September 29th.
The UAW originally filed its charge against GM and Stellantis with the NLRB in the closing weeks of contract negotiations as expiration of the previous labor contracts loomed. GM and the UAW have been in negotiations since July.
“I told [the Big Three CEOs] that if they expected to drag everything out until the final days of bargaining and then try to settle everything all at once, then they were setting themselves up for a strike,” said UAW President Shawn Fain following the union’s charge against GM and Stellantis. Fain added that the automakers’ “willful refusal to bargain in good faith is not only insulting and counter-productive, it’s also illegal.”
“Unfortunately, many employers across the country are willing to break the law and incur the meager fines and penalties that result as just the cost of union busting,” Fain said.
GM strongly denied the charge, with GM Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Gerald Johnson stating that GM leadership was “surprised” and that the charge had “no merit and is an insult to the bargaining committees.”
The UAW is now striking GM, Ford, and Stellantis, marking the first time in which the union has opted to strike at all three of the Big Detroit automakers at the same time. The union is employing a targeted strike strategy wherein workers at only certain facilities are called on to walkout, which is believed to provide UAW negotiators with greater flexibility.
The UAW has made a number of accusations against GM in the last several weeks, including “hiring violent scabs” after picketing UAW members were injured by contractors. GM CEO Mary Barra has accused the UAW of “upping the rhetoric and the theatrics,” rather than negotiating for a reasonable contract. It’s estimated that 25,300 UAW members are currently on strike across all three automakers.