Fain confirmed that if no agreement is reached in a reasonable amount of time, the UAW could go nationwide and block the Big Three's activity entirely. However, in reality, only two auto brands stand to suffer such catastrophic consequences if they don't move away from this contract stalemate – GM and Stellantis. The UAW leader even underlined that the two could need "some serious pushing."
Ford managed to escape UAW's latest decision to expand the strike thanks to reaching a partial agreement. However, Michigan Assembly plant employees will remain on the sidelines until a favorable deal is reached.
The Blue Oval agreed to eliminate wage differentiation between employees making specific parts and assembly workers. It also said that the COLA formula is officially returning. That refers to the cost of living adjustment. It's an allowance that improves employee pay based on official inflation figures. They voluntarily gave it up in 2009 when the financial crisis happened.
Ford also approved the right to strike over plant closures and said it would provide all unionized employees (including those with temporary contracts) laid off indefinitely with "income security" for up to two years with health care included. The only condition is that they need to have at least 90 days of service beforehand.
On top of that, the Dearborn-based manufacturer agreed to an improved profit-sharing formula that nets UAW members (including temporary workers) a 13.3% increase. Ford will also initiate the conversion of all temporary employees into permanent continuous workers.
GM and Stellantis only agreed to eliminate some wage tiers and nothing else. That's why the UAW will expand strikes at all the GM and Stellantis parts distribution facilities starting Friday, September 22, 2023, at noon. That means 38 locations across 20 states will be affected by the protests.
Americans working in these locations can reach a maximum hourly pay of $25, which is only possible after staying on the job for at least eight years.
Fain said that workers who were already striking will hold their positions. That means GM and Stellantis will have new problems to deal with, and that's happening amid their plans to play catchup with Tesla in terms of complete electrification.
Stellantis also has to deal with 6,000 employees striking in Italy.
Given all the above, if your vehicle is in the shop awaiting parts, get ready to experience new delays until UAW and the brands reach an agreement.
Finally, Shawn Fain invited President Joe Biden to join the unionized workers.