DETROIT – UAW President Shawn Fain just announced on Facebook Live that the union, at noon today, will expand its Stand Up Strike against General Motors and Stellantis at 38 locations across 20 states. On Monday, Fain had announced that the union would expand its Stand Up Strike against automakers that did not make substantial progress toward a fair agreement. Neither company did. Approximately 5,600 Big Three workers will join the approximately 13,000 who are already on strike.
The union is continuing to strike Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., but is not expanding its strike against the Dearborn-based automaker. The UAW and Ford did make substantial progress in bargaining over the last week.
Following is an excerpt from Fain’s prepared remarks describing the status of negotiations. You can view the remarks as delivered at the UAW’s Facebook and YouTube channels:
“As you know, we gave our Members Demands to the company two months ago. They wasted a whole month failing to respond. But there has been movement. In particular, we’ve made real progress at Ford. We’re not there yet, but I want you to see the direction that Ford is going, and what we think that means for our contract fight.
At Ford, Rawsonville Components and Sterling Axle employees will now be on the same wage scale as assembly workers. We have eliminated that entire wage tier. At Ford, we have officially reinstated the COLA that was suspended in 2009.
UAW family, many people said this couldn’t be done, but we just did it. We have also won, for the first time in our history, the right to strike over plant closures during the life of our agreement. I don’t have to tell you that this is an important victory in our fight to save our jobs, keep families together, and keep our communities from being gutted.
At Ford we’ve also won additional job security for our members in the event of indefinite layoff. If that happens, our members, including temporary workers, will now receive income security for up to two years, with healthcare.
UAW family and allies —
A few minutes ago, thousands of UAW members at Ford, GM, and Stellantis walked out, marking the beginning of the Stand Up Strike.
UAW members at GM Wentzville Assembly, Local 2250 in Region 4 are ON STRIKE.
UAW members at Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex, Local 12 in Region 2B are ON STRIKE.
UAW members at Ford Michigan Assembly Plant – Final Assembly and Paint, Local 900 in Region 1A are ON STRIKE.
This fight is our generation’s defining moment. Not just at the Big Three, but across the entire working class.
We will stand up for ourselves.
We will stand up for our families.
We will stand up for our communities.
Ford Motor Company far outpaced analysts’ expectations in the second quarter, reporting that its net income nearly tripled from a year ago to $1.9 billion.
For the full year, Ford expects adjusted EBIT of $11 billion to $12 billion. That’s a significant increase over the $9 billion to $11 billion Ford had predicted last quarter. In 2022, Ford’s adjusted EBIT was $10.4 billion, so even the company’s lower guidance exceeds last year’s results.
The 150,000 UAW members at Ford, GM and Stellantis began negotiations for a new contract with the Big Three automakers this month. All three companies have now reported gaudy earnings for the second quarter. (See the UAW’s statements about the second quarter earnings of General Motors and Stellantis.) The car companies’ current contract with the UAW expires on Sept. 14.
UAW President Shawn Fain Released the Following Statement:
“Like every Big Three automaker, Ford is thriving. These eye-popping numbers come on top of a decade of massive profits. The Big Three made a quarter-trillion dollars in North American profits over the last decade, but they denied UAW members our fair share. No Ford worker should be stuck in a lower-tier job, without the good pay and pension that generations of autoworkers fought for. No Ford worker should wonder if the Blue Oval battery plants opening across the country will start a race to the bottom that undermines standards for all autoworkers. Seeing the billions that Ford is making, we know they can and must make things right for our workers and our communities.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A majority of U.S. Democratic Senators are calling on the Big Three automakers to support a just transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in their ongoing contract talks with the UAW.
In a letter released today, the Senators said, “Profits should translate to gains for workers. It is unacceptable that in the midst of extreme financial gains for the companies, executives, and investors, the workers making the electric vehicle batteries that will enable a transition to clean energy vehicles are making poverty-level wages. Before the expiration of UAW’s contract, we urge you to announce that all electric vehicle workers at these joint ventures will be folded into the national UAW contract.”
The UAW contract expires on Sept. 14, and it covers 150,000 autoworkers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.
In a statement, UAW President Shawn Fain said, “These senators agree that now is the time to ensure all autoworkers have the same pay and safety standards that generations of UAW members have fought for and maintained. This senate letter puts a spotlight on EV workers and the need for a just transition in the new green economy because it’s a national concern for all our communities. These negotiations will set the future of the auto industry for decades to come, so we have to get it right. This is when real friends show up. Our members are thankful for the partnership we have with these senators.”
A copy of the letter is below and a full list of the signatories can be found HERE.
Dear Ms. Barra, Mr. Farley, Mr. Tavares, Mr. Eun, Dr. Rhee, and Mr. Chun:
As you engage in contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW), we urge you to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair outcome by agreeing to fold workers at all joint venture electric vehicle battery facilities into the national UAW contract. UAW workers have made General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Stellantis the successful, innovative, and profitable companies they are today, and workers in the new electric vehicle sector will be critical to your future success. They must share in the benefits of a union contract.
Through the passage of the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the United States Congress made it clear that electric vehicle production, as well as its contributing supply chain, is a national priority industry. We were proud to support the legislation that made major investments in this American clean energy industry possible – we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the disrupting impact of climate change on American families, as well as ensure that the technologies of the future are designed and produced here in the United States by American workers with union contracts. We can and must do both.
Though we can all agree that investments in electric vehicle production are necessary to outpace foreign competition, these investments are not a blank check on worker conditions. Department of Energy loans made possible by the IRA require the companies to create “good-paying jobs with strong labor standards…throughout the life of the loan.”
In other words, high-tech electric vehicle manufacturing jobs should set the standard for wages and benefits for all American manufacturing jobs. These are highly skilled, technical, and strenuous jobs. To that end, it is unacceptable and a national disgrace that the starting wage at any current American joint venture electric vehicle battery facility is $16 an hour. We note that at $33,320 a year, the starting wage at one of these facilities is just above the poverty level for a family of four. American workers, especially those working full time in 21st century state-of-the-art manufacturing, should not make poverty level wages.
The starting wage at these electric vehicle facilities is particularly egregious in the face of the billions of dollars of profits GM, Stellantis, and Ford have made in the past 10 years. Between 2013 and 2022, General Motors and Ford Motor Company made over $100 billion and $75 billion in profit in North America, respectively. Stellantis announced almost $18 billion in profits in 2022 alone. This should, in theory, be great news. It is a testament to our economic resilience that profits are now well above pre-pandemic levels. But despite these impressive figures, General Motors and Stellantis have both announced plans to restart billion-dollar stock buyback programs rather than invest in their workers. In fact, in that same profitable 10-year period, GM, Ford and Stellantis have all closed or “idled” productive plants across the country, including the General Motors Lordstown Facility in Ohio and the Stellantis Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois. These closures should never have happened in the first place.
Profits should translate to gains for workers. It is unacceptable that in the midst of extreme financial gains for the companies, executives, and investors, the workers making the electric vehicle batteries that will enable a transition to clean energy vehicles are making poverty-level wages. Before the expiration of UAW’s contract, we urge you to announce that all electric vehicle workers at these joint ventures will be folded into the national UAW contract.
Your National Negotiators have moved into the Ford World Headquarters building and we began the process of bargaining on July 14th. Every one of the demands that were submitted from our UAW-Ford members were presented in writing and read to the company. The negotiators are now bargaining in our established sub-committees for each specific category of the contract. We have presented your demands in their appropriate application and proposals are now being exchanged in the sub-committees to achieve resolution in order to then bargain the language.
Take comfort in knowing that this entire UAW National Negotiating Committee is honored and excited to represent all of you at the bargaining table. We are laser focused and committed to bringing you a contract that you deserve and can be proud of.
-UAW-Ford National Negotiations Bargaining Team
Our UAW-Stellantis National Negotiators officially opened bargaining with the company on Thursday, July 13. But the tone for these negotiations was set the day before when our bargaining team and the union’s top officers headed to the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) to meet directly with rank-and-file members.
Instead of kicking off bargaining with a dog and pony show shaking hands with CEOs, we put the member first. UAW President Shawn Fain, Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock, Vice President and UAW-Stellantis Department Director Rich Boyer, and Region 1 Director LaShawn English shook hands with members during shift change at SHAP.
We have big demands in this year’s negotiations and we’re mobilizing members to win them. We’re holding contract action workshops at locals across the country so we’re ready when our contract expires on Sept. 14. Sign up here to get these bargaining updates and to find out how you can take action for a strong contract.
Yesterday, our 2023 UAW-GM National Negotiators, UAW President Shawn Fain and Vice President Mike Booth opened bargaining with top leadership of General Motors. The collective agreement between the UAW and General Motors is set to expire September 14 at 11:59pm. This agreement covers nearly 50,000 proud UAW Members.
Ed Smith, chairperson of the 2023 National Negotiators, said, “There is an excitement among the Members. We are ready to get into the negotiations.”
UAW President Shawn Fain spoke of the need to eliminate the wage progression, the responsibility of corporations to pay workers a living wage, the negative effects of plant closures, and the need for a just transition to electric vehicles. President Fain also informed the company: “September 14, 2023, is not a suggestion, it is a deadline.”
Vice President Mike Booth, Director of the UAW-GM Department, said, “The 2023 National Negotiations has the potential of being a defining moment in the labor movement for years to come. We are looking forward to these negotiations.”
Sign up here to get these bargaining updates and to find out how to take action for a strong contract.
Our UAW-Ford National Negotiators officially opened bargaining with the company on Friday, July 14. But the tone for these negotiations was set that Wednesday when our bargaining team and the union’s top officers headed to the Michigan Assembly Plant to meet directly with rank-and-file members.
We did not hold a public handshake ceremony with the company this year. Instead, UAW President Shawn Fain, Vice President and UAW-Ford Department Director Chuck Browning, and Region 1A Director Laura Dickerson shook hands with members during shift change at the plant.
We have big demands in this year’s negotiations and we’re mobilizing members to win them. We’re holding contract action workshops at Locals across the country so we’re ready when our contract expires on Sept. 14. Sign up here to get these bargaining updates and to find out how to take action for a strong contract.
I’d like to start by thanking you for being on time, unlike the company we met with yesterday.
I’ve been a UAW member for 29 years. Like Mr. Ford, my roots in this industry run back to the early days when my grandpa hired in at Chrysler in 1937, the year the UAW first organized Chrysler.
That job was life-changing for my family. Their generation took pride in, not only being UAW members, but in working for a Big Three company.
We all have our own walk with the Big Three and UAW, so what we do here is personal to all of us.
Throughout my 29 years, during the best and worst of times, our members have always delivered.
From the 2003 agreement forward, this company has closed plants under every agreement. Many of these decisions were made under the guise of “helping” the company be more competitive.
Since that time, 15 plants, and then some, have been closed or spun off:
- Romeo Engine 2022
- Walton Hills Stamping 2014
- Cleveland Engine #2 2012
- Indianapolis Steering 2011
- Twin Cities Assembly 2011
- Cleveland Casting 2010
- Batavia Transmission 2008
- Monroe Stamping 2008
- Wixom Assembly 2007
- Norfolk Assembly 2007
- Maumee Stamping 2007
- Saint Louis Assembly 2006
- Atlanta Assembly 2006
- Lorain Assembly 2005
- Edison Assembly 2005
In 2009, the union was unfairly villainized for all that ailed the Big Three. Our members, both active and retired, made massive sacrifices, such as the suspension of COLA and job security language provisions, just to name a few. All these sacrifices bore by our members were made in an effort to help the Big Three stay afloat and remain “competitive.”
Since the 2019 agreement was ratified, we’ve seen Romeo Engine Plant close. Many of these workers’ lives were turned upside down by this decision.
Our members worked as essential workers through a pandemic. Some lost their lives to COVID-19 while many at corporate headquarters, three years later, continue to work from home.
Many of our members continue to work long hours, six to seven days a week.
We’ve seen this company choose to close plants and at the same time form a joint venture to build batteries in Kentucky and Tennessee investing billions of dollars from the profits created by the work of our members. This company also plans to create 11,000 jobs between these two locations with no commitments to our members or master agreement terms.
We’ve seen the cost of living put further strains on our members’ budgets.
For over 20 years, our members have sacrificed repeatedly, and it is unacceptable that this company has taken many of these actions during the greatest economic expansion and most profitable years in the history of the Big Three.
Our members have busted their asses to deliver quality products to the consumer while their conditions have regressed, and their bodies endure wear and tear due to working seven-day schedules.
The hard work of our members has generated record profits for this company and the workers deserve a commitment as our industry transitions to electric vehicles.
As we embark on this EV journey, we are constantly presented with the same tired script from the companies; that we must remain “competitive,” which is nothing more than a continued race to the bottom in a quest to follow the lowest bidder to pay poverty wages.
We’re not going to fall further behind. We have an obligation to future generations, and to set the standard again. Then we’ll bring other companies up to our standard.
We have an obligation to do what our ancestors have done, to bring pride back to working for a Big Three company and to leave things better than we found it.
Our mission doesn’t stop here, it begins here.
Today and during bargaining we’re going to hear about how we need to “work together” and “find solutions to take on the competition.” You can’t preach teamwork and “working together to find solutions” while, for the past several years, “working together” at the Big Three has been a non-existent, one-way street to lower wages and plant closings.
The majority of our members at the Big Three are post-2007 hires with no retirement security. They’ve endured a years-long progression of temp work and lower pay to get to full pay.
These are sad times when a majority of your workers can’t afford to buy what they build!
If you want fix absenteeism, if you want to fix quality, then let’s end the tiers of workers and the progression to full pay. Pay a livable wage, with secure benefits and retirement security.
The bargaining committee, Vice President Browning, the IEB and I will be presenting economic demands as we progress with bargaining.
As President of our union, I’m here to tell you, this is a new day for our members and we are going in a new direction. Our members, both active and retired, have sacrificed more than their share and it’s time this company rewards their sacrifice with economic justice.
We will not stand for the continued lack of respect for our jobs and our futures.
How this round of bargaining goes will hinge on whether this company is going to treat workers with the dignity that is long overdue.
I want to be clear; we do not expect the traditional path of opening bargaining, spending a month and a half talking our demands to death.
September 14th is a deadline, not a reference point, so it is in the best interest for this corporation to get down to business with our bargaining committee and get to work resolving the demands of the membership.
This is the most critical set of bargaining in this company and our workers’ history.
It’s time to get to work. We have 62 days, and the clock is ticking.
I look forward to finding solutions and our members being rewarded for always delivering through the best and worst of times.
I look forward to shaking hands when we reach a deal that builds a strong future for our members for generations to come!