Uaw Strikers 2019 Detroit General Motors Gm Hq Union Labor Linda Parton Dreamstime 64e8f4d1be175

UAW Votes to Authorize Strikes Against Big Three

Aug. 25, 2023
The union’s contracts with General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis all expire September 14.

The United Auto Workers has voted to authorize a strike against General Motors Co., Ford Co., and Stellantis Corp. if an agreement is not met by mid-September. The votes are still being counted, but according to a union statement on August 25, an average of 97% of workers voted to strike against each company.

The strike vote authorizes UAW leadership to declare a strike if negotiations fail to come up with new contracts by September 14, but does not mean a strike is inevitable. Despite that, the Detroit Free Press reported that GM and Stellantis have both moved to increase inventory by about 8% over the past two months—possibly in preparation for a work stoppage.

Shawn Fain, President of the UAW, said in Friday’s announcement that union members are frustrated. “Our union’s membership is clearly fed up with living paycheck-to-paycheck while the corporate elite and billionaire class continue to make out like bandits,” he said.

Fain was elected union president in March after campaigning on promises to negotiate aggressively with the Big Three and has maintained a combative stance since negotiations began in July.

Fain revealed a series of demands from the union via a live address on Facebook in early August. The list includes an elimination of wage tiers, higher wages, restored cost-of-living adjustments, the right for union members to strike over plant closures, limits on temporary workers, and more benefits for retirees, including reestablished medical benefits.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Fain is breaking UAW precedence. Previously, the union established demands behind closed doors. In another departure from previous tactics, Fain also said the union would not seek first to establish a contract with one automaker and then model contracts with the others after it.

Results of the strike authorization votes varied only slightly between the three Detroit automakers. At General Motors, 96% of workers voted to authorize a strike; at Stellantis, 95%. The company with the highest rates for strike authorization was Ford, where 98% of hourly represented workers and a full 99% of salaried UAW workers voted to strike, according to the union. 

About the Author

Ryan Secard | Associate Editor


Focus: Workforce and labor issues; machining and foundry management

Associate Editor Ryan Secard covers topics relevant to the manufacturing workforce, including recruitment, safety, labor organizations, and the skills gap. Ryan has written IndustryWeek's Salary Survey annually since 2021 and has coordinated its Talent Advisory Board since September 2023.

Ryan got started at IndustryWeek in August 2019 as an editorial intern and was hired as a news editor in 2020 before his 2023 promotion to associate editor, talent. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Wooster.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!