June 19, 2024
Carmakers and the United Auto Workers are talking.  No sign of any breakthrough to end the strike


The United Auto Workers and Detroit’s Big Three car manufacturers resumed negotiations with the aim of ending the strike on its fourth day, and under the threat that the walkout could soon spread.

Stellantis said it resumed talks with the union on Monday and described the talks as “constructive.” A General Motors spokesman said the company and representatives of the United Auto Workers are also continuing negotiations.

However, UAW President Shawn Fenn said on NPR, “We still have a long way to go,” and if companies do not respond to the union’s demands, “we will escalate action.”

So far the strike has been limited to about 13,000 workers at three factories – one each at GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler’s successor Stellantis.

However, the union’s strategy depends on its ability to escalate the strike quickly, and carmakers are warning of possible layoffs as a limited strike reduces the amount of needed materials at plants that remain open.

GM said Monday that 2,000 UAW-represented workers at an assembly plant in Kansas City are “expected to be deactivated as soon as this week” due to a lack of supplies from a GM plant near St. Louis, where workers Left work and went away. Friday.

Employees at the Kansas City plant build the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac XT4.

The strike may also begin to impact suppliers and their employees. CIE Nucor told Michigan officials it expects four plants in the state to close for a month starting Oct. 2 and make about 300 workers redundant.

In a sign of concern over the potential economic and political fallout of the strike, the Biden administration stepped up its response.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expected a quick resolution, adding that it was too early to assess the impact of the strike.

“It is too early to make predictions about what this means for the economy. “It will depend on how long the strike lasts and who will be affected,” he said on CNBC.

Yellen said labor activism this year — including a strike by Hollywood writers and actors, a strike by workers at about 150 Starbucks locations and narrowly missed walkouts at United Parcel Service and West Coast ports — was driven by a strong labor market and high demand for workers. The reason has been inspired.

President Joe Biden is sending two top administration officials to Detroit to meet with both parties. Biden has supported the UAW in brief public comments, saying automakers have not fairly shared their record profits with workers.

An administration official said Monday that Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior aide Gene Sperling will not serve as mediators — they will not be at the bargaining table — but will help the parties support negotiations in any way they can. Going to Detroit for. Constructive.” The official was not authorized to discuss private matters and spoke anonymously.

Fenn said the Biden administration will not make any compromise

“This is our fight. “Our members are out there protesting,” he said on MSNBC on Monday. The presidential candidates will meet with striking autoworkers in Detroit next week.

A key feature of the UAW strategy is the threat of escalating a strike if the union is unhappy with the pace of bargaining. On Friday, Fenn said more factories could be targeted: “It could happen in a day, it could happen in a week.”

On Monday, Ford workers were joined by members of other unions and the occasional politician in a sit-in protest outside a plant in the Detroit suburb of Wayne.

Tevita Uhatafe, an aircraft-maintenance worker from Arlington, Texas, showed his support and saw what it might look like if UAW members strike against the GM truck plant in his hometown.

“This is a fight that’s probably going to happen in our backyard,” Uhatafe said.

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., said she walked the picket line because the strike is “demonstrating a modern movement for worker justice and worker fairness.”

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Associated Press writer Mike Householder in Wayne, Michigan contributed to this report. Koenig reported from Dallas.

David Koenig, The Associated Press

Source: ca.finance.yahoo.com

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