UAW members at Detroit 3 authorize strike if talks break down

Wesley Brown

UAW members at Detroit 3 authorize strike if talks break down

The union this week is holding practice pickets with workers in Detroit and Louisville, Ky. The UAW has raised its weekly strike pay to $500 per member and has more than $825 million in its strike fund.

In 2019, the union struck GM for 40 days, causing production shutdowns that reverberated with dealers and suppliers caught in the crossfire.

Support for a strike was slightly higher than the 96 percent who agreed to let the union call one in 2019. The union needs the support of two-thirds of its members to call a strike.

Officials did not say how many of the UAW’s 146,000 members at the Detroit 3 voted.

Fain has not ruled out going on strike against all three automakers at once. If that were to happen, a 10-day strike would result in more than $5 billion in economic losses, according to an analysis by Anderson Economic Group.

That estimate includes wage losses of $795 million and manufacturer losses of $1.2 billion, plus the financial hit to suppliers, dealers and the auto industry at large.

UAW officials say they’re ready to take a stand against the companies if they refuse to offer fair deals.

“Stellantis has made astronomical profits over the last decade and recently announced they made a record $12 billion in profits in the first half of this year,” UAW Vice President Rich Boyer, who heads negotiations with Stellantis, said in a statement.

“This strike vote is a warning to Stellantis: We know the company can afford our demands and we are united and willing to do what it takes to win them.”

Fain last week said negotiations with the automakers were moving too slowly.

“This isn’t just a strike vote,” he said Aug. 15. “It’s a demonstration of our strength. It’s a sign of our unity. It’s a statement about our resolve, so if we want to make progress at the bargaining table, we need to show the companies it’s not just talk.”

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