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UAW to hit more factories if ‘serious progress’ not made by noon Friday


DETROIT — The United Auto Workers union will announce additional strikes at General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis plants if the parties do not make “serious progress” in negotiations by noon ET Friday, the president of the union said Monday evening. the UAW, Shawn Fain.

The additional plants would come a little more than a week after the union announced targeted strikes at the assembly plants of each of Detroit’s “big three” automakers, sending about 12,700 workers onto the picket lines.

“Autoworkers have waited long enough to make things right within the Big Three. We don’t wait and we don’t joke. So Friday, September 22 at noon is a new deadline,” Fain said in a video posted online by the union.

Fain previously said the union planned to increase work stoppages, depending on how negotiations with the companies progress. This announcement follows the union meeting with each of the automakers since the targeted strikes began on Friday.

Contrary to the initial deadlines of the contract, Fain did not say that agreements in principle must be reached within the companies to avoid new strikes, but simply “serious progress”. A union spokesperson did not immediately respond to comment on what defines that beyond a tentative agreement.

Currently on strike, workers at GM’s mid-size truck and full-size van plant in Wentzville, Mo.; Ford’s Ranger mid-size pickup and Bronco SUV plant in Wayne, Michigan; and Stellantis’ Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator factory in Toledo, Ohio.

The union selected these factories as part of targeted strike plans, as Fain and UAW leaders negotiated unconventionally with all three automakers at the same time. He calls the work stoppages “standing strikes,” a nod to the historic “sit-down” strikes led by the UAW in the 1930s.

“The ‘Stand Up Strike’ is a new approach to striking. Instead of hitting all the plants at once, some locals were called to “Stand Up”

and go on strike. If automakers fail to make progress in negotiations and bargain in good faith, more locals will be called upon to stand up and join the strike,” Fain said Monday.

Targeted strikes typically focus on key factories, which can then cause other factories to halt production due to a lack of parts. These measures are not unprecedented, but the way the union is carrying them out is not typical.

Ford and Stellantis did not immediately respond for comment on the new “deadline.” GM released a general statement on the negotiations: “We continue to negotiate in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible in the interests of our team members, customers, suppliers and communities across United States. »

The additional strike plans come despite automakers making record offers to the union, which include hourly wage increases of about 20 percent, thousands of dollars in bonuses, continuation of the union’s platinum health insurance and other enhanced benefits.

The union’s main demands included hourly wage increases of 40%, a reduced work week to 32 hours, a return to traditional pensions, elimination of pay tiers and reinstatement of cost of living adjustments, among others .