UAW strike: Employees need to know if contract expires

Workers will strike if the United Auto Workers and the Big Three can’t reach an agreement on Thursday, but not all will go on strike immediately.

UAW President Sean Fein said it would be a “stand-up strike,” meaning only a few locals would strike first and more could join depending on how negotiations go.

More: As unions continue to discuss what to do, the automaker continues

This means that workers who are not on strike will work without a contract agreement.

The UAW has issued guidelines for these workers.

Here’s what to know:

What ends when the contract expires

The UAW says companies can’t change terms of employment, except that companies no longer require dispute arbitration.

Companies cannot fire employees who are working without a contract without cause or reduce their wages and benefits, and the grievance process still applies.

After 11:59 pm on Thursday, these will expire:

  • Arbitration (but not Grievance Procedure)
  • Management rights
  • Union security (but not checkoff dues)
  • No Strike / No Lockout

related to

Strike pay and benefits for UAW members in the absence of a contract

This Thursday, the UAW collective bargaining agreement expires, which could mean a strike for about 146,000 employees of Detroit’s Big Three. Union members will receive some pay while on strike and be eligible for some benefits while on strike – but here’s a breakdown of how everything is paid.

What to do when working under an expired contract

  • Report any changes in terms of employment to the committee person
  • Refuse voluntary overtime
  • Attend local union meetings

What not to do when working under an expired contract

  • Work more slowly or refuse to perform work duties
  • If there is a conflict, confront, argue or threaten
  • Damage to company property.

How workers can protect themselves

  • Carefully follow all standard operating procedures, safety policies and supervisor instructions.
  • Call a person on the committee if they are being disciplined, asked to do work they are not trained to do, or asked to do unsafe work.

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