In a video released late Monday, United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said if the union doesn't see "serious progress" in negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers, it will call on more members at different plants to strike come Friday.
"We're not going to keep waiting around forever while they drag this out. I have been clear with the Big Three every step of the way," he said in the video, which ran over five minutes. "And I'm going to be crystal clear again right now. If we don't make serious progress by noon on Friday, September 22, more locals will be called on to stand up and join the strike."
The UAW is using a targeted strike plan and could call out more union members to the picket line depending on how negotiations go with Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Stellantis NV.
The additional walkouts would come one week after Fain called on 12,700 workers at three separate Detroit automaker facilities to strike. Those workers at Stellantis' Toledo Jeep plant in Ohio, Ford's Michigan Assembly in Wayne and GM's Wentzville Assembly in Missouri have been walking picket lines while negotiations continue since their contracts expired at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
The union is pushing for significant wage increases, an end to the tiered wage system, a 32-hour work week at 40 hours' pay, and other demands.
In a late Monday statement, GM said: "We're continuing to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible for the benefit of our team members, customers, suppliers and communities across the U.S."
Ford issued a statement at almost 11:30 p.m. Monday stating that it's "developing responsible contingency plans for further work stoppages, including plans to ship the parts that keep Ford vehicles on the road — especially to keep first responders and other essential services running.”
The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker added it's continuing to negotiate with the UAW with a focus "on reaching a deal that rewards our employees, allows for the continuation of Ford’s unique position as the most American automaker and enables Ford to invest and grow."
Stellantis referred to its earlier statement: ""Together with the UAW, we have the opportunity to establish a framework in this contract that will allow the Company to be competitive during this historic transformation and bring our workforce along on this journey."
Earlier Monday, Fain told media outlets that there's still a long way to go in the talks.
Specifically, Fain said 20% not-compounded wage increases offered by the automakers "is not enough," after what the union sacrificed during the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler. The UAW originally requested 40% not compounded (46% compounded) wage increases, which has since dropped to 36%.
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