UAW calls for strike
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Leadership at the United Auto Workers Union called on workers to strike at midnight on Thursday night if the companies don’t come up with better wage and benefit offers.
UAW president Shawn Fain announced in a Facebook livestream Thursday evening that if an agreement wasn’t struck between the union and Ford, GM and Stellantis by midnight, three factories would go on strike.
Fain called on three units, one from each company, to be ready to go on strike. This does not include any of the plants in WAVE Country for now.
For GM, it’s Wentzville Assembly in Missouri. For Stellantis, the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio was called upon. Finally for Ford, Fain called upon the Michigan Assembly Plant, but only final assembly and paint.
Fain said if no agreement is reached by midnight, union officials will not bargain on Friday and instead will join workers on picket lines. The 11,000 Ford workers in the Louisville area were given these instructions when they go to their plants on Friday.
“The locals that are not yet called to join the stand-up strike will continue working under an expired agreement,” Fain said. “No contract extensions. Although the contract is expired, most of your contract is still in effect.”
Fain said management cannot change terms or conditions of work in the workplace. He also said workers will not become an employee at will, which means they can’t be fired or disciplined for no reason. This is a strategy that Fain said will keep the companies guessing and give negotiators flexibility and leverage.
Local union workers have been holding rallies and practicing picketing. So far, Ford and GM are offering 20% during the next contract while Stellantis’ last known offer was 17.5%.
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