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Strikes at Ford and General Motors not local anymore

The two-week strike is spreading to new factories. The head of one of the unions said that 70,000 more workers have joined the strikes as labour negotiations have made no progress. United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain mentioned in a video appearance on Friday that negotiations have not succeeded much but Ford and General Motors “have refused to make meaningful progress”.

Fain noted that the strike affected both the Ford assembly plant in Chicago and GM’s Lansing, Michigan, obtaining the total number of strikers to about 25,000. Noting his regret, he made the following comment on the occasion:

Despite our willingness to bargain, Ford and GM have refused to make meaningful progress at the table.

Fain called regretfully for peace, endurance and victory for the future.

However, the strikes that began in early September continue. 20 states cannot tolerate low wages, irregular working hours and no improvement on the issue of pension benefits.

The situation has escalated to the point where “President Joe Biden and his Republican predecessor and likely 2024 election challenger Donald Trump both travelled to Michigan this week to show support for the striking workers.” Mr Biden speaking on the picket line, announced higher, fair wages for workers, apparently referring back to the 2008 financial crisis when US carmakers were on the edge. In his usual manner, he reported that

“Now they’re doing incredibly well. And guess what, you should be doing incredibly well.”

The UAW intends to continue the suspension until the supreme state authority approves an international agreement to start working. Labouring are refusing to go along with the agreement because the demands made by the union could significantly damage their profits.

However, the negotiations include other measures to improve the terms of the contract: cost-of-living increases, pensions, establishing benefits for newly hired workers, and abolishing tiered pay within the union.

“To be clear, negotiations haven’t broken down. We’re still talking with all three companies and I’m still very hopeful that we can reach a deal,” said Fain, the union president.

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