The unprecedented strike movement affecting American automakers risks getting bogged down. "If we don't get better offers ... we're going to amplify" the strike, UAW union boss Shawn Fain told CBS on Sunday. "We've been left behind for decades." This is the first time in history that the three American automotive giants have been hit simultaneously.
Three sites have been shut down since Friday: a General Motors plant in Wentzville (Missouri), another of Stellantis (Fiat-Chrysler-PSA) in Toledo (Ohio) and a Ford branch in Wayne (Michigan). Discussions between the union and the Big Three (General Motors, Ford, Stellantis) had resumed on Saturday with a view to ending the strike movement started the day before. GM and Ford have proposed raising wages by a total of 20%.
Stellantis is now offering an increase of "nearly 21%" over the duration of the new collective agreement, four years, compared to 14.5% just a week ago. But for Shawn Fain, a 21% offer is largely insufficient while the UAW is asking for a 40% increase.
" READ ALSO The threat of a historic strike hangs over the American auto industry
Upcoming site closures
Stellantis also said Saturday that the transition to electric, with site closures at the key, would be done without job cuts, a major fear of employees in the sector, fueled by some Republicans. The latter blame this social conflict on US President Joe Biden, because of his supposed responsibility for the surge in inflation and his desire to accelerate the energy transition of the automobile.
For his part, Joe Biden said he understands "the frustration of workers," who "deserve a fair share of the benefits they have helped create." In the first half of 2023, the three automakers generated cumulative revenue of $276 billion and net profit of $20.25 billion.