The United Auto Workers (UAW) union decided this Friday to continue without changes the strike it continues with General Motors (GM), Ford and Stellantis in the United States despite last-minute progress in negotiations for in a new collective agreement.
The president of the union, Shawn Fain, announced on Facebook Live that this Friday GM accepted “in writing” that the new battery plants built by the company in the country are subject to the collective agreement, something that was agreed to by three manufacturers. They have denied it until now.
“Moments before this appearance, we achieved a lot of progress that not only changed the negotiations in a unique way but changed the future of our sector,” he told the members in the union.
GM’s decision to accept that battery plant workers are covered by the collective agreement it signed with the UAW was enough for the union to decide not to escalate the strike that began on September 15 and now affects 25,000. employees of the big three car manufacturers.
Fain revealed that GM’s move prevented the UAW from ordering a shutdown of the Texas plant in Arlington on Friday, one of the company’s most important assembly centers and where the most profitable pickup trucks and SUVs are made.
“We’re about to cut off GM’s biggest source of revenue in Arlington. The company knows that workers are willing to walk away from their jobs immediately. And that threat allows for a victory that means fundamental changes.” or,” he said.
The participation of the battery plants that GM, Ford and Stellantis, known as the Big Three of Detroit, is one of the main demands raised by the UAW in the negotiations and that caused the majority of the rejection of the companies.
So far, Ford and Stellantis have refused to make that concession.
Fain insisted that the strike was working and maintained that the three manufacturers had made many concessions, but emphasized that if they did not accept the union’s proposals in other areas, more plants and workplaces would join the strike.
“We know very well where they can make money and where it hurts them the most. We know which plants don’t want to go on strike. And they know we have a lot of cards to play, ” he explained.
“The Big Three know that we are not playing and they know that if they want to avoid more strikes they have to pay… it will come. We will not wait forever,” concluded the union leader.