Sterling Heights, Mich. (Fox 2) – The clock is ticking toward a historic strike between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit’s auto manufacturers as talks between the UAW and Ford, General Motors and Stellantis continue against a midnight deadline.
Without an agreement by 11:59 pm, the union intends to strike at selected plant locations. President Sean Fein will announce those zones Thursday at 10 p.m. FOX 2 will stream the announcement in the live player above.
Much is on the line for the 150,000 plant workers around the US and the Detroit Big Three as the industry faces a pivotal moment. As it moves away from gas-powered cars and trucks and toward electric vehicles, the 2023 negotiations will be the UAW’s best chance to deliver higher wages and better benefits before that transition becomes established.
Where can workers leave the line? Some experts say it’s still up in the air as to whether transmission and engine plants could be the first locations to be hit.
Preparations are underway at multiple locations along Van Dyke targeting the Ford and Stellantis plants. UAW Local 1700 President Charles Bell said plastic fencing has been erected at several locations to keep workers safe should they call for a strike.
“Everybody’s fired up and they’re willing to fight for what they believe in,” he said Thursday before Fein’s announcement.
Bell’s chapter represents nearly 7,000 workers. He said he was in discussions with city officials when his group was called.
“Look at the salaries of CEOs and look at what workers are being paid,” he said. Should. Care about the things that working class people need to care about.”
Bell is posted in a rented office which is acting as a hub.
And if workers like Fein are asked to walk off the line, Bell said they’re ready.
“He’s a good guy. I’m down to get him where he’s at and if he says to march, we’ll march.”
There are just questions about what could stop plant production. Many are not sure how long this can last. Some analysts said during an episode of Let It Rip that 10 days seemed like a possible range.
“I personally don’t see a long protest,” Bell said. “There is too much money at stake for the company, and at some point, shareholders will be upset to see vehicles not being made.”