United Auto Workers is threatening to expand the strike on Friday

The United Auto Workers union is increasing pressure on Detroit’s Big Three by threatening to expand its strike unless it sees major progress in collective bargaining by Friday.

In a video statement late Monday, UAW President Shawn Fain said workers at additional factories will join those now in the fifth day of the strike at three factories.

“We’re not going to wait forever while they drag this out … and we’re not doing any nonsense,” Fain said as he announced Friday’s deadline for extending the strike at noon Eastern Time unless there is ” “serious progress” in the talks.

Ford, General Motors and Stellantis said they wanted to settle the strike and refrained from directly criticizing the threatened escalation.

Mark Stewart, the North American chief operating officer of Stellantis, the successor to Fiat Chrysler, said the company was still looking for common ground with the UAW.

“I hope we can do this by Friday,” Stewart said on CNBC.

GM said in a statement: “We continue to negotiate in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible for the benefit of our team members, customers, suppliers and communities across the United States.”

A Ford spokeswoman said Tuesday that negotiations were continuing but gave no further details.

In Washington, the Biden administration has reversed a plan to send acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior adviser Gene Sperling to Detroit this week to meet with both sides, according to a White House official. Last week, President Joe Biden publicly supported the UAW and said officials could play a positive role.

The White House now believes that with negotiations ongoing, “it is most productive for Sperling and Su to continue their discussions from Washington and allow the talks to proceed,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. to discuss private plans.

Fain had discounted the need for help from Washington, saying, “This fight is not about the president,” and some Democrats opposed White House involvement.

“I don’t think the president himself should intervene in these conversations like he did with the railroad strike. He shouldn’t be at this table,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell, whose congressional district includes part of southeastern Michigan.

So far, the strike has been limited to about 13,000 workers at a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, a GM plant in Wentzville, Missouri, and a Stellantis plant in Toledo, Ohio.

However, automakers are warning that there could be layoffs at other locations as the strike cripples the industry’s supply chain.

GM warned Monday that the strike in Wentzville, near St. Louis, could force the company to shut down an assembly plant in Kansas City earlier this week. On Tuesday, the company said it expected to continue production in Kansas City for at least another day.

The strike could soon have an impact on suppliers to the Big Three.

United States Steel Corp. said it has temporarily shut down one of its blast furnaces in Granite City, Illinois, an indication that the company expects the strike to reduce demand for steel. About 1,450 workers are employed at the site – most of them represented by the United Steelworkers, but the company said many workers will not be affected by the furnace’s closure.

The area’s congresswoman, Democrat Nikki Budzinski, said US Steel was using the strike as an excuse to shut down the furnace. “Your attempt to attribute this announcement to the United Auto Workers strike is a shameful attempt to pit working people against each other,” she said.

A parts supplier, CIE Newcor, told Michigan officials that it expects a month-long shutdown of four plants in the state starting Oct. 2, halting nearly 300 workers.

Jose Munoz, president and chief operating officer of South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Corp., told reporters Tuesday in Atlanta that auto parts makers would be hurt by a long strike. These problems could affect production at non-union automakers, not just the Big Three, he said.

“The way the supply chain works today, everything is connected,” Munoz said. “It is very difficult to have a supplier that only works with one (automaker). So, one way or another, we will experience disruptions in the supply chain that may impact businesses over time.”

The UAW is demanding wage increases of more than 30% over four years and other benefits. The union says workers deserve a larger share of the record profits companies have made as prices rose sharply due to strong consumer demand and a limited supply of vehicles due to chip shortages and other problems.

The companies say they can’t afford to meet the UAW’s demands because they need to invest those profits to help them transition to electric vehicles.

Unifor, the union representing Canadian auto workers, extended talks with Ford Motor Co. by 24 hours early Tuesday after receiving a “substantial offer” for a new labor contract just as the current agreement was set to expire.


Associated Press writers Seung Min Kim in Washington, Jeff Amy in Atlanta and Joey Cappelletti in Lansing, Michigan, contributed to this report.

https://fox2now.com/news/national/ap-the-strike-by-auto-workers-is-entering-its-4th-day-with-no-signs-that-a-breakthrough-is-near/ United Auto Workers is threatening to expand the strike on Friday


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