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Thousands of US Auto Workers Go on Strike ... Losses Reach $15 Billion

Sun 17 Sep 2023 | 08:25 PM
Taarek Refaat

For the first time in the history of the American auto industry, worker strikes in three major automakers have worsened and expanded to other factories.

The strike comes at a time when the labor movement is increasing in various American industries, and members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) began the sit-in last Wednesday in three locations: the General Motors plant in Missouri, the Stellantis plant in Ohio, and the Ford plant in Michigan.

The Financial Times saw According to experts, the strike could extend to more other factories in the coming period.

Demands for a 40% increase in wages decreased to 36%.

The United Auto Workers Union began a strike against the three automakers in Detroit for the first time in its history in 88 years. Their demands were to increase their wages by 40% over 4 years, in addition to improving other provisions, which may negatively affect the American auto industry, which It plans to move towards electric cars.

The UAW has reduced its request for a pay increase to 36% over the four years, while automakers have raised their original offers to a range of up to 20%.

The UAW is also seeking to end a two-tier pay system in which new workers take four years to reach the same pay as longtime employees, but automakers have not agreed to that, and talks between the Detroit Three automakers and the UAW have been controversial. Unusually compared to other four-year courses. Fine took a confrontational approach, pointing to the multibillion-dollar profits companies make.

Another point of tension has been the auto industry's shift toward electric vehicles, which requires billions of dollars to cover the costs needed to build battery-powered cars and trucks. On the other hand, Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, told CNBC that if his company had agreed to the UAW’s request, we would have lost $15 billion and would be bankrupt now.

Ford later said the UAW proposal "would more than double Ford's UAW-related labor costs." The plants make the Ford Bronco SUV, GM's Colorado and Canyon mid-size trucks, and the Jeep Stellantis.

On the other hand, UAW President Sean Fine said in a live broadcast on Thursday: “This is the defining moment of our generation. The money is there, the cause is just, the world is watching, and the UAW is ready to stand up.” The union is using what it calls a “reserve strike,” meaning individual locations will participate one by one, as a way to put pressure on companies that brings to mind the historic sit-downs of the 1930s that helped form the UAW.

The United Auto Workers Union demanded that their demands be implemented, similar to the pilot unions in major airline companies, which concluded four-year contracts carrying a wage increase of a third or more. United Parcel Service workers, who are represented by truck drivers, also achieved a wage increase of $7.50 per hour over Over a period of five years.

"The longer the stoppage lasts, the more influence it could have on car prices. But Garrett Nelson, a senior analyst for CFRA Research, said the effects on both new and used car prices could happen almost immediately, according to Yahoo.