Local unions preparing for possible strike

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:45 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - On Tuesday, local union presidents were in negotiations. This comes as the United Auto Workers’ contract expires Thursday at midnight. Making it crunch time for Michigan’s big three automakers, trying to come up with a contract compromise, and avoid a strike.

The UAW demands include an end to wage tiers, the reinstatement of a pension for new hires, and cost-of-living pay raises. One of their largest demands, a 46 percent raise over the course of four years.

General Motors’ counter... a 10 percent wage increase for most employees among other things.

The fight is far from over, as the strike deadline is just over two days away. Michigan’s automakers walking off the job becomes more and more realistic every day, with posts just waiting for strike signs at Local 652. Lansing’s union leadership has been in negotiation meetings every day, even on the weekends, preparing for when their local contract ends.

The national UAW president saying they’re putting their foot down, for fairness.

“In the last four years, the price of cars went up 30%. CEO pay went up 40%” said Shawn Fain, national UAW president.

Lansing members say they’re prepared to take a stance on these principles. If they strike, they will be provided 500 dollars a week through the union.

“The companies want to say that, you know, if we strike it and wreck the economy, it’s not that we’re going to wreck the economy, we’re gonna, we’re gonna wreck their economy, the economy that only works for the billionaire class, it doesn’t work for the working class,” said Fain.

At local UAW 652, they’re busy preparing, with their strike assignments, already posted on the doors.

While General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis are offering counter offers that they say include significant wage increases for all workers.

“From the onset of bargaining, we’ve told them ‘we wanna do things differently’, and we do not expect them to wait until the last minute and then wanna settle everything, and so, unfortunately, they didn’t wanna heed our advice,” said Fain.

Local and national union leaders in constant communication with automakers, to get a deal done before Thursday’s deadline.

The national UAW branch is responsible for authorizing our local unions to strike. If that happens, you can expect to see picket signs outside auto-makers 24 hours a day, as soon as Friday.

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