UAW Boss Says 'Targeted Strikes' On Standby As Talks With Automakers 'Far Apart'

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Sep 13, 2023 - 11:30 PM

Update (1930ET): 

"For the first time in our history, we may strike all of the Big Three at once," United Auto Workers boss Shawn Fain told members in a Wednesday evening Facebook Live event. 

Fain said General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis increased their wage offers but rejected some of the union's other demands. 

"We do not yet have offers on the table that reflect the sacrifices and contributions our members have made to these companies.

"To win we're likely going to have to take action. We are preparing to strike these companies in a way they've never seen before."

He said if no deal is reached by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, then "standup strikes" will be unleashed at different auto plants to keep the automakers guessing. "We will not strike all of our facilities at once" on Thursday," he added. 

Targeted strikes will help the union sidestep 'strike pay,' which amounts to $500 a week per member. 

Fain said the goal of the targeted strikes is to reach a fair labor deal for members, "but if the companies continue to bargain in bad faith or continue to stall or continue to give us insulting offers, then our strike is going to continue to grow." 

With 24 hours left in labor talks, UAW and the automakers are still far apart. 

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Talks between United Auto Workers and Detroit's "Big Three" automakers - General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, appear stalled on Wednesday morning as the deadline for a new four-year labor deal with automakers quickly approaches.

UAW boss Shawn Fain is set to speak to the 146,000 members during a Facebook Live event at 1700 ET regarding the ongoing labor negotiations with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. According to Bloomberg, Fain is expected to discuss a potential strike strategy.

AP News reports the Facebook Live event could have the union boss shed more light on "targeted strikes at a small number of factories run by each of Detroit's three automakers if they can't reach contract agreements by a Thursday night deadline." 

Strikes at parts plants could spark production halts at multiple assembly factories. We detailed Tuesday a large enough strike could plunge Michigan's economy into a recession

Last week, automakers submitted contract offers to UAW. Fain quickly threw those in the trash, calling General Motors "insulting." 

Bank of America Securities warned clients a "strike is almost guaranteed" because UAW demands and automaker offers are so wide apart.  

Nelson Lichtenstein, a history professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, told AP if UAW strikes later this week -- it would be the largest in decades. 

Labor actions will likely occur at part factories for pickup trucks and big SUVs, according to Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. 

"They're trying to impose some hardship on the companies and apply an accelerating level of pressure to encourage them to make an offer which will be acceptable to the rank and file and goes further toward meeting the demands that they have on the table," Masters said. 

He said it would make sense for UAW to target the weakest point of the supply chains: 

"You would go after the components that would shut down as many of those product facilities as possible.

"The tactic would force the companies to lay off workers at assembly plants, and they would get unemployment benefits rather than money from the union strike fund." 

Meanwhile, pro-union President Biden and his administration appear unconcerned about imminent strike threats across America's manufacturing automobile hub. 

It appears the president likes spending time more time at his liberal white-elitest Rehoboth Beach house than actually working.