UAW Strike Update: GM and Stellantis Navigate Critical Juncture Ahead of Friday Deadline

UAW strike updates: GM and Stellantis face critical decisions. Layoffs, negotiations, and looming deadline analyzed. Stay informed.

Sep 21, 2023 - 11:10
Sep 21, 2023 - 11:11
UAW Strike Update: GM and Stellantis Navigate Critical Juncture Ahead of Friday Deadline
UAW Strike Update: GM and Stellantis Navigate Critical Juncture Ahead of Friday Deadline

In anticipation of the looming Friday deadline, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis are making pivotal moves in the ongoing negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW). Here's a rundown of the latest developments:

 United Auto Workers strike

Temporary Halt in GM's Fairfax Plant Production:

GM, grappling with a shortage of crucial stampings from its Wentzville, Missouri plant due to the ongoing UAW strike, has temporarily suspended operations at its Fairfax plant in Kansas. This facility is tasked with assembling the Chevrolet Malibu. Consequently, around 2,000 UAW workers at Fairfax are experiencing a temporary layoff.

Stellantis Enacts Workforce Adjustments:

In response to the evolving situation, Stellantis has taken the decision to temporarily lay off 68 employees at its Toledo Machining Plant. This facility plays a pivotal role in the assembly of Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator models. Furthermore, there exists the potential for up to 300 UAW workers at two other Stellantis plants in Indiana - Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting - to face temporary layoffs.

Stellantis Extends a Fresh Offer:

In a significant move, Stellantis presented a brand-new contract counterproposal to the UAW on Tuesday, marking the first such offer since the commencement of the stand-up strikes last Friday. The company has emphasized that the proposal primarily addresses outstanding subcommittee issues, refraining from divulging further specifics at this juncture.

Tensions Escalate as Friday Approaches: With the UAW's Friday noon deadline on the horizon, President Shawn Fain has made it abundantly clear that substantial progress must be achieved for a deal to be struck. Failing which, the UAW is prepared to expand its stand-up strikes to additional locations. Analysts at Barclays posit that the next potential targets could be the Big Three's highly profitable pickup and truck plants.

Contentious Op-Eds Add to the Friction:

GM President Mark Reuss, a pivotal figure in the negotiation process, took to the pages of the Detroit Free Press to counter what he deemed a "flow of misinformation" from the UAW. Reuss underscored GM's commitment to equitable wages (with 85% of the company's workforce receiving a base salary of $82,000) and investments in the realm of electric vehicle transformation. In a swift response, the UAW penned its own op-ed, with UAW VP Mike Booth emphasizing the union's fight for the welfare of all workers, particularly those in lower-paying positions.

Ford's Perspective:

In a parallel development, Ford asserted that only a small percentage of its workforce (2% to 3%) comprises temporary or part-time workers. Additionally, 80% of its employees currently earn the top wage of $32 per hour.

As tensions surge on both sides, experts are prognosticating an uptick in strike activity come Friday noon. The remaining query lies in whether the UAW will direct their efforts towards the Big Three's high-yield full-size truck operations or adopt a strategic approach, reserving their most impactful strike options for future use.

Also Read: UAW Auto Workers Strike: Negotiations Intensify as Detroit Three Face Labor Standoff

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