UAW President sets firm deadline for Detroit three automakers as contract talks heat up: Report

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain has emphasized that the Detroit Three automakers – General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis – need to take their economic proposals seriously and reach new contracts by September 14.

Fain has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the pace of negotiations and has not ruled out the possibility of strikes if the deadline is not met. His ambitious goals include eliminating the tiered wage system, restoring cost-of-living adjustments and defined-benefit pension plans. Fain’s strong stance has raised concerns about potential walkouts and their impact on the pivotal Michigan region. Despite President Joe Biden urging a “fair agreement,” the UAW has not endorsed his re-election, emphasizing that endorsements must be earned.

The union’s proposal to expand defined-benefit pension plans has met resistance from automakers, but Fain argues that the cost is comparable to current 401(k) savings plans. As strike authorization votes proceed, tensions in this year’s contract talks remain palpable.

A potential ten-day UAW strike could have significant financial repercussions for manufacturers, workers, suppliers, and dealers, with wages lost by striking workers estimated at $859 million. The Detroit Three’s potential walkouts could create opportunities for non-union automakers like Tesla, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai.