The United Auto Workers (UAW) is set to begin contract negotiations with Detroit’s three automakers this week. The talks are expected to be contentious, as the union seeks significant wage increases, the elimination of wage tiers, and restoration of cost-of-living pay and pensions for new hires.
The UAW is also determined to secure a foothold in the joint-venture plants that will manufacture electric vehicle batteries in the years and likely decades ahead. As the industry undergoes a historic transition from internal combustion engines to EVs, the automakers will likely need many thousands of workers to staff electric-battery plants. The UAW sees this year’s contract as a crucial opportunity to ensure representation in the industry’s jobs of the future.
UAW President Shawn Fain has said that the union is prepared to strike if necessary to get the contract it wants. The automakers, for their part, have said that they are willing to negotiate in good faith, but they are also determined to contain costs as they transition to electric vehicles.
The negotiations are likely to be closely watched by the rest of the labor movement, as they will set a precedent for future contract negotiations in the auto industry and other sectors.
Key issues that are likely to be on the table during the negotiations:
The negotiations are likely to be difficult, but the UAW is determined to get a good contract for its members. The outcome of these negotiations will have a major impact on the future of the auto industry and the labor movement.