West News Wire: If “serious progress” is not made in the contract discussions with manufacturers by Friday, according to United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain, the union’s strike will become more widespread. 

 In a Monday night update shared via social media, Fain stated that Friday, Sept. 22, at noon, is the deadline for more advancement in the union’s negotiations with Ford, GM, and Stellantis. 

More over a week has passed since our first members left. And that will mean that the “big three” have been stalling in their attempts to negotiate a settlement that is fair to our members for more than a week, he stated in his video message. 

“Autoworkers have waited long enough for the “big three” to make things right. We’re not hanging around and wasting time, he continued. 

In the midst of continuous talks to reach an agreement, the labour strike against the three biggest automakers in the United States entered its fourth day on Monday. 

The UAW, which speaks for over 150,000 American autoworkers, began a strike early on Friday against General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, the so-called “big three.” Nearly 13,000 employees left three auto factories in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. The union is using a “stand-up” strike strategy to pick off specific plants, with plans to add more if a compromise is not reached. 

The UAW held talks with Ford on Saturday, GM on Sunday and planned to meet with Stellantis on Monday, a union source told news reporters. The conversations with Ford were “reasonably productive,” the source said. 

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Sticking points in negotiations were wage increases and the length of the workweek. The union is demanding a 46% pay increase combined over the four-year duration of a new contract, as well as a 32-hour workweek at 40-hour pay. So far, all three of the Detroit-based companies have each put forward proposals that offered workers a 20% pay increase over the life of the agreement but preserved a 40-hour workweek. 

After the unprecedented strike began on Friday, Ford laid off 600 workers who assemble cars at a plant in Michigan. Workers in the paint department at a nearby plant are out on strike, leaving the assembly workers without adequate parts since the parts require paint before they can be put together into cars, a company spokesperson told news reporters. 

In order to encourage the parties in achieving a settlement, President Joe Biden announced on Friday that he is sending acting Labour Secretary Julie Su and senior adviser Gene Sperling to Detroit. 

The supply chain might be disrupted, there could be billions of dollars in losses, and there could be other financial repercussions, economists previously told news channels. 


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