As the autoworkers strike enters Day 4, the two sides are digging in.
“We went backwards roughly $10 an hour in wages over the last six years,” UAW President Shawn Fain told NPR. “At the same time, in the last decade, these companies have made a quarter trillion dollars in profits.”
“Our goal is to secure a sustainable future that provides all our UAW-represented employees with an opportunity to thrive in a company that will be competitive during the automotive industry’s historic transformation,” Stellantis said in a statement.
Fain told Morning Edition on Monday that the union had “minimal conversations” with all three companies over the weekend, and the ball is still in their court.
Fain said the union wanted to start substantively bargaining two months ago, but the companies waited until just before their contracts expired last week to “actually start really talking.”
“We have a long way to go,” he said. “And if the company does not respect the demands of our workers, then we will escalate action.”
In the meantime, the ripple effects have already started.
Ford told 600 workers not to report to work at its Michigan Assembly Plant’s body construction department and General Motors warned that 2,000 workers are expected to be out of work at its Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas this week.