The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has approved potential strikes at Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis. The approval comes amidst the automakers’ efforts to embrace the electric vehicle transition, which the UAW noted could result in risks to its members.
As noted by the UAW, 97% of members who participated in the strike authorization vote were in favor of potential strikes at the facilities of the Big Three. So far, there are about 145,000 UAW members at the three car manufacturers.
As noted in a CNN report, the UAW is looking to achieve several ambitious goals in this year’s negotiations. The union is seeking to regain contract provisions that it gave up in the 2007 negotiations. These included the end of a traditional pension plan, as well as retiree health care coverage, among others.
The UAW is also seeking to secure protections against job losses and plant closings, which appears to be a risk as carmakers shift their product lineups from conventional combustion-powered vehicles to electric cars. EVs, after all, require far fewer parts than combustion-powered cars since they do not have complex components like engines and transmissions. Electric cars thus do not require as much time to produce.
Interestingly enough, numerous jobs related to electric car production are located at facilities that are recently opened or are under construction to build EV batteries. These plants, however, are typically joint ventures between the carmakers and battery producers like LG. Workers at the sites are then not full employees of Ford, GM, or Stellantis.
Ford, GM, and Stellantis, for their part, have noted that they intend to reach deals with the UAW.
“We look forward to working with the UAW on creative solutions during this time when our dramatically changing industry needs a skilled and competitive workforce more than ever,” Ford noted.
“We continue to bargain in good faith each day to support our team members, our customers, the community, and the business,” GM stated.
“The discussions between the company and the UAW’s bargaining team continue to be constructive and collaborative. In our view, a strike does not benefit anyone – our customers, our dealers, the community, and, most importantly, our employees,” Stellantis noted.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with news tips. Just send a message to email@example.com to give us a heads-up.