On Friday, one of the biggest unions in the country has went on strike – with approximately 150,000 workers against top brand automakers including Stellantis, General Motors, and Ford.
An agreement was not reach before the deadline set by the United Auto Workers with car manufacturers last Thursday evening at 11:59pm at Eastern Time. Shawn Fain, UAW President, discussed in an announcement meeting that a strike would occur if a tentative agreement wasn't met at the proper time. When the clock strikes 12am on Friday, 12,700 union workers at different plants such as GM in Wentzville, Missouri; Stellantis in Toledo, Ohio; and Ford's at Wayne, Michigan. This is only the beginning.
Their strike is specifically called a “stand-up,” where not all union members are striking at the same time.
Fain had emailed a message to all of UAW shortly after the strike started.
“A few minutes ago, thousands of UAW members at Ford, GM, and Stellantis walked out, marking the beginning of the Stand Up Strike,” his note read.
"This fight is our generation's defining moment. Not just at the Big Three, but across the entire working class,” he continued, adding, "We will stand up for ourselves. We will stand up for our families. We will stand up for our communities."
"We are extremely disappointed by the UAW leadership's refusal to engage in a responsible manner to reach a fair agreement in the best interest of our employees, their families and our customers. We immediately put the Company in contingency mode and will take all the appropriate structural decisions to protect our North American operations and the Company.”
Prior to the strike a day earlier, key demands were not even closely met, including length of the work week and livable wages.
For example, a 46 percent pay increase that came along under the 4 year contract that would automatically be in full effect was a demand that the union is wanting. A 32-hour workweek that would still be paid as a complete 40-hour pay was another demand of the UAW.
Proposals from General Motors and Ford gave counteroffers with a 20 percent pay over the lifetime of each worker's agreement, 17.5 percent for Stellantis. 40-hours was still upheld by each automaker.
In a statement Thursday night as the strike loomed, the Ford Motor Company said that the UAW's counterproposal, which they received Thursday evening, "showed little movement from the union's initial demands submitted Aug. 3.”
"The union made clear that unless we agreed to its unsustainable terms, it plans a work stoppage at 11:59 p.m. eastern,” the company said in the statement. "Ford has bargained in good faith in an effort to avoid a strike, which could have wide-ranging consequences for our business and the economy.”
The automaker said it "remains absolutely committed to reaching an agreement that rewards” employees "and protects Ford's ability to invest in the future” during a time of transformation, reported by MSN.