Contentious UAW-Big 3 negotiations could be on the horizon

Contentious UAW-Big 3 negotiations could be on the horizon
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 3:58 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Gearing up for what could be a contentious negotiation, United Auto Workers say they’re ready to stand up to the Big Three automakers.

Their deal ends in September and the hope is that all sides get there without a work stoppage.

The back and forth between the UAW and US automakers is nothing new. In fact, it’s impacted many families in northwest Ohio throughout the decades. This time around, electric vehicles also known as EV might change the tone and type of negotiation.

To make sure auto plants in our area like GM Propulsion in West Toledo or Toledo Machining in Perrysburg Township are up and running with UAW members, this summer’s negotiations will go a long way.

“This round of contract negotiations is going to be the defining fight of our generation. We are going to win because we are united and we are ready to act,” said UAW president Shawn Fain.

With the UAW and Big Three deal expiring in September, all sides will go back to the bargaining table this year. One automaker will go first, although which one isn’t set yet? The UAW already making it clear they’re ready to be made whole.

“During the auto bailout when times were hard our members and our retirees made the sacrifices for these companies. And now after a decade of time where these companies are flush with profits, after living through the pandemic, where our workers were told how essential we are, we still continue to sacrifice. That ends now,” said Fain.

The transition to EV will most certainly be part of the deal. Automakers are already spending lots of money on that change and the UAW wants to make sure the workers aren’t left behind. Some experts believe it will take fewer people to actually put an EV together.

This brings everyone to the last resort, would a strike be on the table? In 2019 GM saw a strike during negotiations.

“Whether we strike or not it’s up to the corporations. If they give our members their equal share, their fair share, we’re going to be fine. If they don’t we’re going to have to do what we have to do,” said Fain.

A Stellantis rep refused 13abc’s request to comment. GM told 13abc it’s committed to working with the newly elected Fain. In addition, GM is focused on building a working relationship based on trust, and mutual respect, and operating in the best interest of employees and stakeholders.

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