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UAW votes to authorize Ford, GM, Stellantis strike after contract expires

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UAW votes to authorize Ford, GM, Stellantis strike after contract expires

The United Auto Workers Union announced Friday its strike authorization vote passed with “near universal approval” from its 150,000 members at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

“Final votes are still being tabulated, but the current combined average across the Big Three was 97% in favor of strike authorization,” it said in a statement. “The vote does not guarantee a strike will be called, only that the union has the right to call a strike if the Big Three refuse to reach a fair deal.”

The UAW is currently negotiating new contracts with the automakers, with its current ones expiring on Sept. 14.

“Our union’s membership is clearly fed up with living paycheck-to-paycheck while the corporate elite and billionaire class continue to make out like bandits,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement. “The Big Three have been breaking the bank while we have been breaking our backs.”

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Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), center left, walks with demonstrators during a UAW practice picket outside the Stellantis Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, on Wednesday, Aug. 23.  (Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The massive labor union says its demands “include the elimination of tiered wages and benefits, wage increases to offset inflation and match the generous salary increases of company executives over the last four years, the re-establishment of cost-of-living allowances and defined benefit pensions and retiree healthcare, the right to strike over plant closures, significant increases to current retiree benefits, and more paid time off to be with family.”

“Our members’ expectations are high because Big Three profits are so high. The Big Three made a combined $21 billion in profits in just the first six months of this year. That’s on top of the quarter-trillion dollars in North American profits they made over the last decade,” Fain added. “While Big Three executives and shareholders got rich, UAW members got left behind. Our message to the Big Three is simple: record profits mean record contracts.”

The UAW says the strike authorization vote at General Motors passed at 96%, while at Ford, it was 98% for hourly represented workers and 99% for salaried represented workers. At Stellantis, the vote passed by 95%, it added.

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UAW member holds sign

United Automobile Workers members and their supporters gather for Solidarity Sunday at the UAW Region 1 office in Warren, Michigan, on Aug. 20, 2023.  (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

In a statement to FOX Business, GM said, “We continue to work hard with the UAW every day and bargain in good faith to ensure we get this agreement right for our team members, our customers, suppliers, the community and the business.”

GM also says on a website it set up to provide updates on the negotiations that “A strike authorization vote does not directly impact the collective bargaining process.

“Negotiations for a new contract between GM and the UAW began on July 18, 2023 and will continue until a new agreement is reached and ratified by UAW members,” it says.

United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain speaks with workers

United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain speaks with workers at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant on July 12, 2023 in Wayne, Michigan.  (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Stellantis told FOX Business on Friday, “The discussions between the Company and the UAW’s bargaining team continue to be constructive and collaborative with a focus on reaching a new agreement that balances the concerns of our 43,000 employees with our vision for the future — one that better positions the business to meet the challenges of the U.S. marketplace and secures the future for all of our employees, their families and our company.”       

FOX Business has reached out to Ford for comment.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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