The United Auto Workers said Friday that actions that widened strike activity at its two peers in Detroit's Big Three automakers have indicated that significant gaps remain between the two sides in key areas despite progress on certain issues.
The UAW extended its strike on General Motors and Stellantis, the parent firm of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, on Friday with the announcement of new strikes at 38 parts distribution centers across 20 states.
The strike resulted in about 5600 union workers from GM and Stellantis, bringing the total number of UAW members on strike to 18,300 across the Big Three. The ongoing strike has resulted in work stoppages at facilities where union members don't strike, which is the result of the lack of work.
He said the UAW has secured concessions on several issues, such as the reinstatement of a cost-of-living allowance, conversion of all current temps who've worked for Ford for at least 90 days upon ratification of the new contract, and an increased profit-sharing formula that would have paid out an increased 13.3% to employees last year.
The UAW also said it secured the right to strike over Ford plant closures in the future. The company said its members would also receive substantial income security with up to two years of health care in the event of an indefinite layoff.
Pay raises are one area where the two sides appear to be relatively far apart based on public statements. The UAW was initially asking for a 40% increase over the course of the new four-and-a-half-year contract, while Ford and other automakers have offered a 20% raise over the same period with an immediate 10% increase after ratification. The union is also pushing for 32-hour workweeks, the return of defined benefit pensions and the elimination of wage gaps between newer and older employees.
The UAW leaders are running what the union calls a'stand up strike', where specific locals are asked to go on strike at their facilities. The union has said that the strike will give the union flexibility in escalating the strike incrementally up to a possible nationwide strike if negotiations do not deliver sufficient progress in its view and will make it harder for the auto companies to predict its next move.
This is the first time the UAW has conducted a simultaneous strike against each of Detroit's big three automakers.
Stiglitz said he plans to travel to Michigan on Tuesday to visit a UAW picket line in support of the workers. The former president is also planning a trip to Michigan on Wednesday.