Auto Workers in US go on strike

Auto Workers, strike

This article was last updated on September 15, 2023

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Thousands of Auto Workers Walk Out in Demand for Fair Treatment

In a historic move, approximately 13,000 employees from three major car factories in the United States have initiated a strike, calling for better wages and improved working conditions. The decision was announced by United Auto Workers (UAW) union leader, Shawn Fain, just moments before the expiration of the existing labor contracts.

Representing nearly 150,000 workers in the auto industry, the UAW is currently limiting the strike to these three factories but has warned that further strikes may follow if the car companies fail to meet their demands. The union is seeking a pay increase of at least 36 percent over the course of four years, in addition to automatic price compensation and the implementation of a four-day work week.

The Battle Against the ‘Big Three’

This marks the first time in the union’s 88-year history that employees have simultaneously gone on strike at the country’s dominant auto manufacturers, commonly referred to as the ‘Big Three.’ These manufacturers include Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler.

The Companies’ Response

According to union leader Fain, the car companies have not responded adequately to the latest proposals put forward by the UAW. Ford and GM have offered a 20 percent wage increase, while Stellantis has proposed a 17.5 percent increase. The companies argue that the union’s demands are unreasonable, expressing concerns over the potential rise in costs as they are already investing billions in the transition to electric vehicles.

Acknowledging the high wage demand, union leader Fain asserts that the manufacturers possess the financial capacity to reward their employees more generously. He highlights that only 4 to 5 percent of the price of a car is attributable to labor costs, emphasizing that doubling wages would not significantly escalate car prices while still allowing for significant profits. “We are not the problem. The greed of the manufacturers is the problem,” Fain told the AP.

Effects on Car Production and Manufacturing States

The factories affected by the strike play a crucial role in producing some of the most profitable vehicles for these companies. Situated in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio – states traditionally at the heart of the American automotive industry – these factories are vital to the ongoing success of the ‘Big Three’.

As the strike commences, it remains uncertain how long it will last and what impact it will have on car production and inventory. The ‘Big Three’ will likely face significant challenges and pressures as they strive to balance the demands of their employees with the financial realities of the industry.



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