DETROIT (FOX 2) - UAW President Shawn Fain is giving Detroit's Big Three until Friday, Sept. 29 to make serious progress in negotiations.
The UAW is planning another virtual press conference for Friday, Sept. 29 unless serious progress is made in negotiations. The union did not say that more union members would be called on to strike, as they did last week – but that is the outcome that is widely expected.
Friday marks two weeks since the first UAW members went on strike when the union's agreement with Detroit's Big Three expired. Fain will speak to the union and the media in a Facebook Live a few days after meeting with President Joe Biden in Detroit.
Biden became the first sitting President to stand with a union on the picket lines when he flew into Detroit on Tuesday.
"The fact of the matter is you guys, UAW, you saved the automobile industry back in 2008. Made a lot of sacrifices, gave up a lot, and the companies were in trouble. Now they're doing incredibly well and guess what, you should be doing incredibly well too," Biden told a crowd outside the Willow Run facility in Belleville, Michigan.
Biden took a hard stance in the negotiations, clearly on the side of the union. He told members outside the General Motors redistribution center they deserved a "significant raise."
So far, more than 18,000 UAW workers at 41 facilities across the country have gone on strike as Fain has implemented the standup strike. Rather than the entire union striking at once, Fain has taken a much more selective approach. Last week, he called on all GM, Stellantis parts distribution facilities to strike while sparing Ford, for now, citing serious progress in talks.
Fain said this was a result of both automakers rejecting union proposals and offering deficient cost of living adjustments.
"Both companies are still offering deficient cost of living adjustments that will provide zero increases over the next four years. Both have rejected job security proposals. Both have rejected profit-sharing proposals. And both companies have rejected our proposals to convert temps," he said.
Ford, on the other hand, has come to an agreement with the union on job security and reinstated cost of living adjustments that were suspended in 2009. Because of this, the UAW will not call on more Ford employees to strike.
"To be clear, we're not done at Ford. We still have serious issues to work through, but we do want to recognize Ford is showing its serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it's a different story," he said.
After Fain's announcement, Ford issued a statement saying that there was still a lot of work to do.
"Ford is working diligently with the UAW to reach a deal that rewards our workforce and enables Ford to invest in a vibrant and growing future. Although we are making progress in some areas, we still have significant gaps to close on the key economic issues. In the end, the issues are interconnected and must work within an overall agreement that supports our mutual success," Ford said.
Ford has come to an agreement with the union on job security and reinstated cost of living adjustments (COLA) that were suspended in 2009. Because of this, the UAW will not call on more Ford employees to strike.