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UAW on Cusp of Historic Strike as Automakers Fail to Meet Worker Demands Despite Massive Profits

HeadlineSep 14, 2023

Members of the United Auto Workers are gearing up for the first-ever simultaneous strikes against the “Detroit Three” car manufacturers. UAW President Shawn Fain issued a warning to automakers Wednesday, ahead of tonight’s midnight contract expiration.

Shawn Fain: “The Big Three can afford to immediately give us our fair share. If they choose not to, then they’re choosing to strike themselves. And we are not afraid to take action.”

The strike action would see workers suddenly walk out of targeted plants, while others continue to work in a bid to “create confusion.” Fain also said the strikes could escalate to an across-the-board work stoppage by all 150,000 UAW members if talks do not progress.

Auto workers are seeking a 40% pay increase, a 32-hour workweek, a return to regular pensions, an end to compensation tiers, and cost-of-living adjustments, among other demands. So far, Ford, GM and Stellantis — which owns Chrysler and other car brands — have offered pay raises between 17.5% and 20%.

Senator Bernie Sanders has called on the U.S. public to support the UAW to help “create an economy that works for all, not just the privileged few.” Sanders notes the CEOs of the Big Three have seen their pay increase by more than 40% over the past four years, earning between $20 and $30 million each last year alone. The three companies made $23 billion in profits in the first half of this year, an 80% increase over last year.

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