June 19, 2024

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Union’s Fain says ‘more to be won’ despite record offers

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Striking United Auto Workers (UAW) members from the General Motors Lansing Delta Plant picket in Delta Township, Michigan September 29, 2023.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union believes there is “more to be won” in ongoing contract negotiations with the Detroit automakers following five weeks of labor strikes against the companies, UAW President Shawn Fain said Friday.

His comments come despite record contract offers from General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis that now include 23% hourly pay increases and other significantly enhanced benefits during the terms of the four and a half-year deal.

“There is more to be won,” Fain said during an online broadcast. “These are already record contracts, but they come at the end of decades of record decline. So it’s not enough to be the best ever, when auto workers have gone backwards over the last two decades. That’s a very low bar.”

Despite Fain’s comments, the union did not announce additional strikes Friday against any of the companies. He said the “bottom line is we’ve got cards left to play, and they’ve got money left to spend.”

Fain did not address a Friday report by Bloomberg that the union has asked for a 25% increase in general wages.

The union has not announced any additional strikes since initiating an unexpected walkout on Oct. 11 at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant that produces highly profitable pickup trucks and SUVs. That’s despite Ford having the best proposal regarding economics, as outlined Friday by Fain.

Fain spent quite a notable amount of time during the online broadcast discussing how the union plans to use these talks to assist in organizing non-union plans. He also heavily criticized the Monday comments of Ford Chair Bill Ford to bring an end to the negotiations.

“Bill Ford said it shouldn’t be Ford versus the UAW. He said it should be the UAW and Ford against foreign automakers,” Fain said. “I want to be crystal clear on one thing: The days of the UAW and Ford being a team to…

2023-10-20 16:59:00

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