LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKBN)- The President of UAW representing the Big Three automakers announced Friday that the union’s strike authorization vote passed.
President Shawn Fain said that the vote passed with near universal approval from the 150,000 union workers at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis.
In a press release, it states that the current combined average across the three companies was 97% in favor of strike authorization.
“Our union’s membership is clearly fed up with living paycheck-to-paycheck while the corporate elite and billionaire class continue to make out like bandits,” said UAW President Fain. “The Big Three have been breaking the bank while we have been breaking our backs.”
This vote does not impact the local Ultium Cells battery plant in Lordstown because workers there are still negotiating a contract, according to UAW Local 1112 President Darwin Cooper. Workers at Ultium Cells voted late last year to unionize and be represented by the UAW.
Ultium workers are voting this weekend on pay raises. Ultium managers and the United Auto Workers on Thursday announced a deal that will give significant pay raises to workers at the battery plant, amounting to $3 to $4 more per hour — about a 25% increase.
UAW spokesperson Shelly Restivo in Detroit told First News that while Ultium Cells employees did not take part in the vote, they are “fighting to win the same strong pay and safety standards that are in the Big Three contract.”
In the UAW strike vote with the Big Three, the union says its demands include the elimination of tiered wages and benefits, wage increases to offset inflation and match the salary increases of company executives over the last four years, the re-establishment of cost-of-living allowances and defined benefit pensions and retiree healthcare, the right to strike over plant closures, significant increases to current retiree benefits, and more paid time off to be with family.