Members of the United Auto Workers union are about to launch the first simultaneous strikes in history against the three largest automakers in the United States, known as the “Detroit Three” or the “Big Three.” Union president Shawn Fain issued a warning to the three automakers on Wednesday, on the eve of the end of the collective bargaining agreement, which is set to expire at midnight on Thursday.
Shawn Fain: “The Big Three will immediately give us our rights. If they choose not to, they will initiate the strike themselves. And we are not afraid to act. “
In a strike, workers will suddenly leave selected plants, while others will stay at their jobs in an attempt to “create confusion.” Fain also said the strikes could escalate into a general walkout by the 150,000-member United Auto Workers union if talks do not progress.
The autoworkers are demanding a 40% wage increase, a 32-hour work week, a return to regular pensions, an end to the severance wage level, and cost-of-living changes, among others. demands. Until now, the companies Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the latter owner of Chrysler and other car brands, offered salary increases between 17.5% and 20%.
Senator Bernie Sanders called on the American public to support the union to help “create an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.” Sanders pointed out that the salary of the CEOs of the Big Three has increased by more than 40% in the last four years and that in 2022 alone they will earn between 20 and 30 million dollars each. The three companies generated $23 billion in revenue in the first half of 2023, 80% more than last year.