United Auto Workers boss President Shawn Fain appeared on a regular Friday morning Facebook Live broadcast. He said General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Stellantis NV will be spared from additional strikes as contract negotiations progressed.
“We’re entering a new phase of this fight, and it demands a new approach, Fain said. He continued, “We’re not announcing the expansion of our strike, but we are prepared at any time to call on more locals to stand up and walk out.”
The union boss warned: “We are prepared at any time to call on more locals to stand up and walk out.” And he defended his ambitious pay hike demand in new labor contracts with all three automakers: “I want to be clear on this point – I didn’t raise members’ expectations. Our broken economy is what’s raising our members’ expectations, and our members are right to be angry.”
“We are looking for only one thing – a deal, a tentative agreement,” Fain said, adding it’s time for Detroit’s Big Three to “pony up.”
UAW President Shawn Fain Livestream Update 10/13/23 https://t.co/2kOMJaTAjt
— UAW (@UAW) October 13, 2023
In a surprise announcement Wednesday evening, Fain said 8,700 UAW members walked off the job at Ford’s highly profitable SUV and truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The plant produces Ford Super Duty pickups, the Ford Expedition, and the Lincoln Navigator SUVs. The reason was due to souring labor talks with the automaker.
On Thursday, Ford responded to UAW expanding strikes, and Kumar Galhotra, president of the Ford Blue division, warned the automaker has “reached its limit:”
“We’ve actually stretched ourselves to get to this point. … We’re open to moving some money around within the deal that might fit the union’s needs better. But broadly speaking, from an overall cost of the deal perspective, yes, we’re there.”
As of this week, 34,000 UAW workers are striking at six assembly plants and 38 parts-distribution facilities of the Big Three automakers.