FOX 2 Detroit
Sept. 7, 2023
Dave Kinchen and Jack Nissen
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (FOX 2) – Economic peril awaits the U.S. and particularly Michigan if the United Auto Workers union strikes.
That’s what experts say as negotiations between the UAW and automakers continued to run into roadblocks Thursday. In response to General Motors’ latest offer, Shawn Fain called it an “insulting proposal.”
“GM either doesn’t care or isn’t listening when we say we need economic justice at GM by 11:59 p.m on September 14th,” Fain said. “The clock is ticking. Stop wasting our members’ time. Tick tock.”
GM’s offer would have given workers a $5,500 ratification bonus, a paid holiday on Juneteenth, and a 10% wage increase for most workers.
Detroit’s big 3 automakers are already preparing for a potential strike as next week gets nearer.
“So a UAW strike against the domestic auto manufacturers will have far and away a disproportionately negative impact on Michigan and that’s because Michigan has more automotive production than any other state in the union,” said Sandy Baruah, the president of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Baruah cited a fiscal report that said even 10 days of striking against Ford, GM, and Stellantis would have a massive impact on the economy: about $5 billion.
But for the union workers picketing in the rain, they say the efforts are worth the stress.
“I’m going to follow my brothers and sisters. We don’t want it to come to that but if they can’t come to a resolution then that’s probably where it will end up,” said Quiona Ackles, who was stationed outside Stellantis’ plant in Sterling Heights.
“Just giving us fair wages and the pensions as well. I don’t have a pension. I came in as a two tier so I am not offered a pension. They started it but they didn’t close it.”
Workers who support all Big Three firms have been looking for a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, and restoration of traditional pensions for new hires.