A historic strike by the UAW against Detroit’s Big Three automakers began on Friday and continued throughout the weekend. Following the expiration of its contracts with Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis on Sept 14, the union officially declared a strike on Friday, Sept 15. Both parties began to negotiate in July, however UAW President Shawn Fain said the negation process began to simmer with automakers after they allegedly wanted to wait until “the last eight days” to start talking.
A limited number of plants were struck by the union at the beginning of its strike. This is what the UAW calls a “stand up strike,” which gives our national negotiators maximum leverage and flexibility to win a record contract. Although a full strike is still possible, these smaller strikes will be the union’s first step.
UAW workers are being directed to continue working under an expired contract. Unfortunately there will be no contract extensions and due to the strike, there have been some layoffs.
Fain did not state which company was to be the target of the quadrennial talks and potential strike, as he has in previous years. Instead, he has threatened to strike at any of the Big Three that has not reached a contract agreement by the end of the year. There are over 146,000 autoworkers represented by the UAW across Ford, GM and Stellantis. 97% of those workers voted to authorize a strike. If UAW workers choose not to strike, they would’ve lost out on their weekly pay and health benefits. Since the union has about $825 million in its strike fund, picketers will receive $500 per week.