Nearing the 24 hour mark for potential UAW strike
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - “The UAW doesn’t back down from a fight, and we are willing to do what’s necessary to win justice by any means necessary.” said Shawn Fain, the UAW President.
Time is running out for the United Auto Workers Union, and Detroit’s big three automakers, to reach a deal before what could be a massive strike. We are now about thirty hours away from the deadline.
“We’re literally fighting for the future of automotive manufacturing in our country. But we’re optimistic we’ll find a way forward,” said Jim Farley, the Ford CEO.
Our UAW locals are preparing for a potential strike, packing up boxes full of things that workers walking the picket line might need. They’re also handing out strike assignments while hoping for a fair deal before the deadline hits.
Thursday afternoon, the UAW president announced the strike strategy. Meaning we’re getting a better idea of what things could look like in Lansing.
News 10 spoke with a local union president, who was briefed on the strategy yesterday ahead of today’s announcement. Instead of strikes at all of the plants, they will be targeting specific locations, which could include Lansing. However key parts of their strategy are yet to be announced, as they don’t want to show all of their cards just yet.
“We could be a strategic target because not only do we have two assembly plants but we also have two stamping plants,” said Ben Frantz, the UAW 652 President.
At UAW 652 in Lansing, Frantz says they’re fully prepared for and willing to, strike. He knows all about the negative economic impacts of a strike and wishes it wouldn’t come to that.
“Shareholders have gained, corporations have made record profits, CEOs are getting record wages, and we have been stagnant. It negatively impacts communities, when the corporations don’t come to the table,” said Frantz.
He says it’s time to level out the playing field and get their fair share. However the clock is ticking, and automakers such as Ford are feeling the pressure as well, offering a new deal Tuesday night.
“It’s our most generous offer in 80 years of the UAW and Ford.” said Farley, “We’re absolutely ready for a strike, and I know the UAW is too, but we don’t want it to come to a strike.”
Pay increases, an end to wage tiers, and inflation protection are just some of the demands Ford recently offered to meet.
Local are unions waiting to hear from UAW national, about what their next move will be.
“Local 652 is ready, and now they need to take it seriously, because a strike of General Motors, a strike of Ford, a strike of Stellantis, on a city like Lansing, negatively affects way more than just the top tier of automakers,” said Frantz.
Frantz says it’s hard to get a feel for national negotiations as he’s not in the room. However, that information will be released to him and other local union leaders before tomorrow at mid-midnight, when they could potentially walk off the job.
While they’re ready to build world-class cars, he says they’re also ready to strike if they have to.
Should a strike occur Fain says the UAW won’t negotiate on September 15, they will protest instead.
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