If new agreements are not reached by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET, the United Auto Workers union is planning to execute unprecedented, targeted UAW Strikes against Ford Motor, General Motors, and Stellantis. in this blog we delveyou about UAW Strikes.

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UAW Strikes talk

Alternatives to nationwide activities include targeted or “bottleneck” UAW Strikes, in which the union selectively targets particular plants. As opposed to the previous round of UAW talks with General Motors, which took place four years ago, when members walked out of all workplaces and onto picket lines.

Targeted attacks frequently concentrate on important plants, which might force other plants to stop producing when they run out of components. Although they are not unusual, the manner UAW President Shawn Fain intends to handle the work stoppages is unusual. Initiating targeted strikes at particular factories is one of them, with the possibility of expanding the number of UAW strikes later on depending on how the discussions are doing.

“We will attack all three firms, a first in history, beginning at a small number of announced target areas. Then, based on the outcome of the negotiations, we’ll reveal other people who will be asked to go on strike, Fain stated during a Facebook Live on Wednesday.

Fain alluded to the union’s intentions as a “stand-up strike,” paying homage to the UAW’s legendary “sit-down” strikes from the 1930s.

read Stand with UAW Strikes

The targeted attacks, however “historic,” could have unanticipated knock-on repercussions. How one plant will affect others is unclear. If their state permits them to get any benefits because they are unemployed as a consequence of a strike, the measures might also potentially drive non-striking union members to the unemployment lines.

How about UAW Strikes ?

According to labor experts, the stoppages also make it easier for the businesses to find permanent replacement workers and even carry out plant lockouts.

According to Dennis Devaney, senior counsel at Clark Hill and a former board member of the National Labor Relations Board, the UAW strategy puts “some heat on the companies,” but it also provides the companies “much more ability” to deploy similar techniques.

Devaney, who formerly worked as an attorney for GM and Ford, stated: “I believe it certainly is not a favorable thing from the UAW’s standpoint.

Plant lockouts, in which employers forbid employees from entering a plant, are more often abroad than in the United States, but they have happened.

For instance, a lockout that lasted over 10 months at an Exxon Mobil facility in Texas was resolved last year after union approval of a new contract. The business claimed that it took these actions in reaction to the union’s notification of a strike during contract talks in January 2021.

However, automakers could prefer to keep operating their factories as long as possible in the case that the strikes get worse, especially after years of supply chain disruptions brought on by part shortages and the coronavirus outbreak.

Companies must consider “significant, important factors” before deciding whether such “actions might be legal and appropriate,” according to Jeffrey S. Kopp, a partner at Foley & Lardner and a corporate labor lawyer with 26 years of experience.

According to a person familiar with the union’s strategies, the UAW is aware that lockouts are a possibility and has stated that “everything’s on the table” for both parties if it comes to striking under the expired contracts.

Expiring coupons

The UAW hasn’t gone on strike previously like this because each factory strikes must be about local contracts, not national concerns, according to the wording of the union’s national contracts with the Detroit automakers. Fain, however, asserted that the UAW would strike local plants over global ones.

(For background, it should be noted that the UAW is an organization with a “international” unit that serves as the head or umbrella for local UAW units, each of which has its own contracts in addition to the national agreement.)

Such behavior would often be considered a breach of the contracts and might result in legal action or a complaint to the NLRB. For instance, GM sued the UAW in 1998, alleging that a bottleneck strike at two Michigan factories that impacted several other business sites was unlawful.

The union, however, asserts that this provision is no longer relevant because employees are still covered by conditions of expired contracts.

The “no strike, no lockout clause” ends, but most contracts, including those governing pay and working conditions, are still in force, according to Ben Dictor, the UAW’s legal counsel. That gives the union the option to strike, but it also gives employers the option of perhaps locking out employees.

Some of us will be participating in the stand-up strike while working without a contract. In a video the union uploaded online on Thursday, Dictor said, “This is a crucial component of our strategy to keep the companies off-balance by calling locals out on strike based on what is happening in negotiations.” “That will keep them on their toes and energize your country’s negotiators while they barter with the big three.

severance fund

It can be difficult to carry out targeted attacks because it’s unclear how one plant would affect others. If their state permits them to get any benefits because they are unemployed as a result of a UAW strikes, the measures might potentially push non-striking union members to the unemployment lines.

Because fewer members will require “strike pay” from the $825 million strike fund, targeted strikes will also save the union money.

The fund pays each qualifying member $500 each week, so if all members went on strike, there would be enough money for around 11 weeks. However, that excludes medical expenses that the union would pay for, including short-term COBRA policies, which would probably deplete the fund far more quickly.

Fain frequently makes reference to how previous union leaders performed work stoppages without pay and how UAW members need to remain together when challenged about the effectiveness of the strike fund to sustain the union.

We won’t be saved by anyone. No one can prevail for us in this battle. Together, standing strong, we have the best and only chance for success, added Fain. “I’ll tell you this, knowing that we’re on the winning side of this conflict, I’m at peace with the choice to attack if necessary.

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