The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has authorized an auto workers strike amid negotiations with major automakers in an effort to secure better terms for its members.
The union’s announcement revealed a staggering 97% vote in favor of a strike among its 150,000 autoworkers, according to a press release. These negotiations involve the Big Three automakers: Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. The union’s demands are comprehensive, seeking wage hikes to combat inflation, defined benefit pensions, retiree healthcare and the eradication of wage and benefit tiers.
“UAW President Shawn Fain announced today that the union’s strike authorization vote passed with near universal approval from the 150,000 union workers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis,” the union’s press release stated. “Final votes are still being tabulated, but the current combined average across the Big Three was 97% in favor of strike authorization. The vote does not guarantee a strike will be called, only that the union has the right to call a strike if the Big Three refuse to reach a fair deal.”
The union’s decision to vote is a strategic move in their negotiations over contracts with the Big Three, all of which are slated to expire on September 14. A potential strike’s economic implications are significant. Analysts estimate that a mere 10-day total strike could result in a $5.6 billion economic loss, with union workers facing a loss of $859 million in wages.
“Our union’s membership is clearly fed up with living paycheck-to-paycheck while the corporate elite and billionaire class continue to make out like bandits,” UAW Shawn Fain declared in the aforementioned press release. “The Big Three have been breaking the bank while we have been breaking our backs.”
The voting results for the strike authorization varied slightly among the Big Three: Ford saw 98% in favor, General Motors had 96%, and Stellantis recorded 95%.
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