UAW holds off on expanding Detroit Three strikes, changes strategy

by | Oct 13, 2023 | Business

(Reuters) – The United Auto Workers (UAW) did not announce new strikes against the Detroit Three on Friday but its president warned of a strategy shift under which the union may call for walkouts at any time.

The development came two days after a surprise walkout at Ford Motor’s biggest and most profitable plant, as the ongoing, coordinated strike against the group that includes General Motors and Stellantis enters its 29th day.

Here is a timeline of events beginning with the election of UAW President Shawn Fain in March:

Date Development

March 25 Shawn Fain wins the race for UAW

president; vows to take a tough stance

against the Big Three automakers.

July 10 The union says it will open contract talks

with Detroit’s Big Three automakers starting

July 13.

July 11 Fain says the union is not afraid to hold a

strike at any of the automakers without a

fair contract.

July 19 Fain meets President Joe Biden at the White

House as the union briefed the staff on

contract talks with the automakers.

Aug. 1 The UAW presents demands to Stellantis, says

the union is seeking ambitious benefit

increases from the Detroit Three, including

double-digit pay rises and defined-benefit

pensions for all workers.

Aug. 2 The union presents contract demands to

General Motors.

Aug. 3 The union presents contract demands to Ford

Aug. 8 Fain angrily tosses contract proposals from

Stellantis in a trash can, citing numerous

concessions that the Chrysler parent is

seeking in labor talks.

Aug. 25 The UAW says 97% of voting members were in

favor of authorizing a strike at the Detroit

Three if an agreement is not reached before

Sept. 14.

Aug. 31 The union says it has filed unfair labor

practice charges with the National Labor

Relations Board (NLRB) against GM and

Stellantis, saying they have refused to

bargain in good faith.

Aug. 31 Ford makes a contract offer to the UAW,

providing hourly employees with 15%

guaranteed combined wage increases, lumpsum

payments and improved benefits over the life

of the contract.

Sept. 1 The NLRB says it will


the charges filed by the UAW.

Sept 6 The UAW makes a labor contract

counterproposal on economic issues to Ford.

Sept. 7 GM makes counteroffer to the UAW that

includes a 10% wage hike and two additional

3% annual lumpsum payments over four years.

Fain calls the offer “insulting.”

Sept. 8 Stellantis says it offered U.S. hourly

workers a 14.5% wage hike over four years but

no lumpsum payments.

Sept. 8 Fain says UAW

expects to go on strike against

all three automakers the following week if

they do not improve their contract offers.

Sept. 11 Stellantis says it plans to make a new

counteroffer to the UAW after the union made

its own revised offer on Sunday ahead of the

expiration of the current four-year labor

deal Thursday night.

Sept. 13 The UAW rejects counteroffers from the

automakers and outlined plans for strikes

targeting individual U.S. auto plants in what

would be its first-ever simultaneous strike

against the Detroit Three.

Sept. 15 The UAW launches simultaneous strikes that

will halt production of some popular models

at three factories owned by GM, Ford and


Sept. 16 Negotiators for the UAW and Ford had

“reasonably productive discussions” toward a

new contract, while officials at Stellantis

said a proposal to resume work at an idled

Illinois factory has fallen through.

Sept. 18 UAW says it would announce on

Sept. 22 more plants to strike at if no

serious progress is made in talks.

Sept. 20 UAW says 90 workers went on strike at

Mercedes-supplier ZF’s plant in Alabama.

Sept. 22 UAW will expand its strikes against GM and

Stellantis, but has made real progress in

talks with Ford Motor, the union says.

Sept 24. Ford says despite progress in some areas, it

still has “significant gaps to close” on key

economic issues before it can reach a new

labor agreement with UAW.

Sept. 28 The UAW makes a new counter-proposal to

Stellantis, just one day before it was set to

strike at additional Detroit Three


Sept. 29 The UAW will walk off the job at an

additional plant at General Motors and at

Ford, said Fain. The new strike will not

extend to Stellantis, which called before the

scheduled 10 a.m. ET announcement to make

significant changes in its contract proposal.

Oct.2 GM and Ford say they are laying off another

500 workers at four Midwestern plants.

Separately, the UAW confirms it presented a

new contract offer to GM. GM says it has

received the counterproposal “but significant

gaps remain.”

Oct. 3 Ford said it had made a new contract offer

but said a dispute over battery plants

remained unresolved. Ford said the new offer

boosted wages for temporary workers,

increased company 401(k) contributions and

had further shrunk time needed to get to the

top wage rate.

Oct. 6 The UAW held off on additional strikes

against Detroit Three auto plants, citing

GM’s unexpected willingness to allow workers

at joint-venture battery plants to be covered

by union contracts.

Oct. 11 GM, Ford and Stellantis all agreed to raise

base wages by between 20% and 23% over a

four-year deal. Ford and Stellantis agreed to

reinstate cost-of-living adjustments, or


Oct. 12 The UAW shut down Ford’s biggest plant

globally, saying the automaker refused to

move further in bargaining. UAW negotiators

are expected to turn their attention to talks

with Stellantis.

Oct. 13 Fain says the union will not expand its

strike at the moment, but warned that members

would now walk out of additional facilities

without warning rather than wait until

Fridays to announce new plans.

(Reporting by Ananta Agarwal, Priyamvada C and Aishwarya Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Shinjini Ganguli and Devika Syamnath)


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