DETROIT (FOX 2) - The deadline for significant progress between United Auto Workers and the Big Three is here and more strikes are likely coming.
UAW President Shawn Fain spoke at 10 a.m. on Friday as the union's noon deadline for progress with Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors approached. Fain had given Detroit's Big Three until noon on Friday to make ‘significant progress’ in negotiations with the union.
Appearing in a black and white camo shirt with a UAW logo, Fain ditched the traditional UAW red in his announcement. He opened his announcement by detailing UAW members across the country who work for other organizations – including Blue Cross Blue Shield – and said there are union members nationwide for other organizations that ‘have made their CEO’s rich.
"Our workers aren't having it," Fain said. "The standup strike movement is not just the Big Three. Everywhere, UAW members of the working class are ready to stand up against corporate greed."
Fain said they would not wait around forever for a contract with the Big Three and that the public was on the union's side.
"We're doing this differently this time around. Our standup strike strategy is designed to do one thing: win record contracts after years of record profits," Fain said.
Fain said there has been some movement with Ford over the past two weeks but the other two have not made any progress.
He said that Ford eliminated a wage tier at the Rawsonville Components and for Sterling Axle employees and that the union has also won additional job security with income security for up to 2 years of healthcare. Fain said Ford also granted access to immediate conversion of temporary workers and that temporary workers gain profit sharing after 90 days. also applies to all employees with at least 90 days - including temporary workers.
However, Fain said just because they're not striking Ford with this announcement, doesn't mean that they have an agreement.
"To be clear, we're not done at Ford. We still have serious issues to work through, but we do want to recognize Ford is showing its serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it's a different story," he said. "Both companies are still offering deficient Cost of living adjustments that will provide zero increases over the next four years. Both have rejected job security proposals. Both have rejected profit-sharing proposals. And both companies have rejected our proposals to convert temps. "
Fain said, due to GM and Stellantis not working out better offers, they're striking at 38 General Motors and Stellantis parts and distribution facilities locations across 20 states.
The GM plants in Michigan include Pontiac Redistribution, Willow Run Redistribution, Ypsilanti Processing Center, Davidson Rd. Processing Center, Flint Processing Center, and Lansing Redistribution.
The Stellantis Michigan plants include Marysville, Centerline Packaging, Centerline Warehouse, Sherwood, Warren Parts, QEC, and Romulus.
A similar format was followed last week when Fain announced the first plants to strike a couple of hours before the deadline that started the strike. The union is participating in a stand-up strike, meaning that only some members are striking, but more may be added as negotiations continue.
The strike started on Friday, Sept. Sept. 15 after automakers and the union failed to reach a contract deal.
The union initially was asking for a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, the tier system removed, and restoration of traditional pensions for new hires, among other demands. However, the union said it is now willing to accept a pay raise percentage in the mid-30s.
Counteroffers have been passed back and forth between the Big Three and UAW. All three automakers have offered raises that are around 20%.
As the strike enters week two, the ripple effect is being felt.
On the same day that the strike started, Ford temporarily laid off 600 employees at Michigan Assembly. The automaker said the laid-off workers are part of departments that can't do their jobs while final assembly and paint workers are on strike.
This week, GM and Stellantis also announced layoffs.
GM laid off around 2,000 workers at its Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas, while Stellantis laid off 68 employees at a machining plant in Ohio and will likely lay off an estimated 300 other workers at factories in Indiana.