Steel Markets

UAW Rhetoric Heats Up at Town Hall Meeting

The United Auto Workers (UAW) held a union-wide town hall last week in which they struck a defiant tone regarding the upcoming contract negotiations with the Detroit 3 automakers.

auto“These companies have been extraordinarily profitable, and our members have created incredible value for these companies during some really hard and dangerous years,” UAW president Shawn Fain said during the event on May 31. “They can afford our demands, and we expect them to pony up.”

The UAW seeks to end the “tier system’’ in upcoming contracts, in which more senior workers receive more generous benefits than new hires. The union also seeks the reinstatement of a cost-of-living-allowance (COLA) and better job security as the industry transitions to electric vehicles.

“The choice of whether or not we go on strike is up to the Big Three,” Margaret Mock, UAW secretary-treasurer, said at the town hall. “They can work with us to make sure we get what we are owed, or they can fight us.”

Mock noted that the UAW holds $825 million in its strike fund. “We are ready and willing to strike, if needed,” she said.

Recall that the UAW’s labor contract with the Detroit 3 automakers expires on Sept. 14 at 11:59 p.m., and that negotiations get underway this summer. Likewise, Detroit 3 talks with Canadian union Unifor, which represents auto workers in Canada, are slated to begin in August.

A spokesperson for Stellantis had no comment on the UAW town hall, while a spokemsan for General Motors declined to comment as well. A spokesperson from Ford did not immediately return an email requesting comment by time of publication.

By Ethan Bernard,

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