More UAW workers will hit the picket line if no deal is reached by Friday

INDIANA – Negotiations between the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers are heating up as UAW President Shawn Fain said more strikes could happen Friday.

Shawn Fain

“If we don’t make serious progress by noon on Friday, September 22nd, more locals will be called on to Stand Up and join the strike,” Fain warned. “We’re not going to keep waiting around forever while they drag this out We’re not messing around.”

UAW Local 440 members at GM Bedford Casting Operations are still working but without a contract but are ready to hit the picket lines.

Union negotiators and representatives of GM, Ford, and Stellantis held talks over the weekend and on Monday in an attempt to end one of the most ambitious U.S. industrial labor actions in decades.

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain marches with UAW members through downtown Detroit on Friday after a rally in support of UAW members as they strike against the automakers Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

But Fain said on Monday there were “minimal conversations over the weekend so the ball is in their court …. We have a long way to go.”

The UAW decided to go on strike at all three unionized US automakers — General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, which makes cars under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands. This is day four of the strike.

However, the union decided to strike only one assembly plant at each company, having 12,700 members walk out while most of the 145,000 members at the companies remained on the job.

Canadian union Unifor, whose contract with Ford expires at 11:59 EDT on Monday (0359 GMT on Tuesday), said there was still no deal just hours before the deadline.

Ford has two engine plants in Canada that build V-8 motors for F-series and Super Duty pickups assembled in the United States. It also has an assembly plant in Ontario.

Ford on Friday furloughed 600 workers who are not on strike at the Michigan Bronco plant because of the impact of the work stoppage. 

General Motors warned that 2,000 workers are expected to be out of work at its Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas this week. The company says that’s due to a shortage of critical materials supplied by the stamping operations at its Wentzville plant in Missouri.

The Biden administration is sending Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House Senior Adviser Gene Sperling, according to a report from CNBC, the team is expected to arrive in Detroit to help with negotiations.