United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said Sunday that workers will continue to strike for a fairer wage.
After going on strike last Friday, following several failed negotiations with the three major automakers, the United Auto Workers union rejected a 21% wage increase.
The demands of the workers of Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, are clear, they are seeking an increase of more than 36% over four years, although the executives of these three companies have put on the table several proposals for wage adjustments, the union has described them as “disappointing”.
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said, “Our demands are fair. We are asking for our fair share in this economy and the fruits of our labor.” In addition to wage increases, workers are demanding better working conditions, more pension benefits and paid time off.
UAW demands much more than wage adjustments
After four days of protests, many analysts believe that this strike could cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and would also affect the companies closest to where the demonstrations are taking place.
Last week Stellantis, Chrysler’s parent company, offered the UAW a 14.5% wage adjustment in its latest agreements; however, the union points out that these increases do not compare to the wage adjustments received by the CEOs of these three companies.
According to Fain, the wages of automotive industry employees have gone backwards “our benefits have gone backwards. Most of our members now have no retirement security,” he said.
Manufacturers have shown their interest in reaching agreements with their employees; however, they point out that the sector is not experiencing its best moment and, therefore, they must adjust to the market with better offers by lowering vehicle prices in order to keep up with the competition.
In this regard, Fain pointed out that “they could double our salaries and not increase the price of vehicles and still make billions in profits. It’s a choice. And the fact that they want to compare it to how pitifully Tesla pays its workers and other companies pay their workers, that’s what this whole argument is about. Workers in this country have to decide if they want a better life for themselves, instead of struggling to survive paycheck to paycheck, while everyone else walks away with the loot,” he said.
It appears that the union is determined to remain in its position in what they have termed a “stand-up strike” and thus continue to keep the pressure on the shoulders of Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.
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