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UAW launches strikes against Big Three automakers

At midnight, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched their first strike outside the Ford Motor Company (F) plant in Wayne, MI. This strike involved the leading automakers, collectively known as the “Big Three,” after they refused to increase wages for their workers.

The “Big Three” consists of General Motors Company (GM), Stellantis (STLA), and Ford Motor Company (F). All of them have been unable to reach a compromise on the union’s demands, potentially initiating one of the biggest work stoppages in the last 30 years. The last major strike occurred in 1997 when 180,000 United Parcel Service employees stopped working.

Since the start of the strike, over 13,000 of the UAW’s members have not reported to their jobs today, and 146,000 have been authorized to strike. According to NBC, the union has $825 million in its strike fund to use over the next several weeks, with strikers planning to protest outside multiple plants. The strike fund is projected to support the strikes for up to 11 weeks.

General Motors Company’s CEO, Mary Barra, revealed to NBC that the strike could negatively affect the U.S. economy in the next several months, especially if the UAW and the Big Three companies do not reach a promising compromise.

She said, “For every GM job, there are six other jobs associated with it, and that's why the ripple effect can occur so rapidly. It won't be good for the economy, and it won't be good for anyone.”

President Joe Biden has also responded to the strikes, expressing hope that the Big Three and the UAW can negotiate a “win-win agreement.” In a press conference, Biden said, “Let’s be clear, no one wants a strike, but I respect workers’ right to use their options under the collective bargaining system.”

Barra also stated that no negotiations would be happening today between the UAW and these companies, with the UAW not having made any announcements since this morning.

News outlets predict there will be more developments with the UAW strikes in the upcoming weeks as the U.S. economy begins to fluctuate.

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