Detroit Evening Report: UAW halts strike expansion, citing substantial progress

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UAW members strike outside the Ford Assembly Plant in Wayne on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023.

UAW members strike outside the Ford Assembly Plant in Wayne on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023.

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain announced Friday the union would not expand its strike against Detroit’s Big Three this week, citing substantial progress in negotiations with the automakers.

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“GM has now agreed in writing to place their electric battery manufacturing under our national Master Agreement,” Fain said on Friday, donning an “Eat the Rich” t-shirt.

GM’s concession to place battery workers under the master agreement was a major win for the union, he said, adding that the UAW is looking for similar concessions from Ford and Stellantis to ensure workers keep their jobs during the transition to electric vehicles.

Prior to the concessions announced Friday, the UAW was set to strike at a GM SUV assembly plant in Arlington, Texas.

Fain said the union would not expand its strikes against Ford and Stellantis either, due to progress made with cost-of-living adjustments and ending tiered wage structures.

“Suddenly three weeks into our stand up strike we’ve got two of the Big Three automakers committed to returning to our 2007 Cost of Living Formula Ford steeliness have agreed to reinstate cost of living allowance and GM isn’t far behind.”

Picketing outside the Ford Assembly plant in Wayne on Friday, UAW member Antoinette Howard said she still trusts Fain, but is growing concerned with how slowly negotiations are moving and wants to see a stronger response from union leadership.

“We only know what he’s telling us so we don’t know the full strategy,” she said. “I still back him in whatever he is doing, but I really wish he would shut everything down and make these bums move for real.”

Union supporter Kolton Tackett, who joined the picket line at UAW Local 900 in Wayne, says he’s encouraged by how talks are moving.

“We’re just here hoping that all the union members get what they’re deserving here; you know the percentages are increasing for things and just a lot of hope coming.”

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  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.
  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.