Sep 5, 2023 - Economy

UAW strike looks "highly likely" when contract ends Sept. 14

UAW President Shawn Fain (right) talks with union members at a rally after marching in the Detroit Labor Day Parade on Monday in Detroit. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

All signs point to an autoworker strike when the UAW's contract ends Sept. 14.

  • The big question is whether the UAW targets one of the Detroit automakers — or all three at once.

Why it matters: There's still time. But UAW President Shawn Fain's fiery rhetoric, and admittedly ambitious demands, have set the stage for what could be a prolonged conflict.

What's happening: A more combative UAW has demanded a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay and a restoration of traditional pensions, AP notes.

  • President Biden told reporters in Philadelphia on Labor Day when asked whether he's worried about a possible auto strike: "No, I'm not worried about a strike until it happens. I don't think it's going to happen."

What we're hearing: Top industry officials tell Axios they expect a strike.

  • Barclays analyst Dan Levy recently described a strike as "highly likely."
  • Steve Rattner — the famed financier, and "car czar" to President Obama — told Bloomberg TV's David Westin on "Wall Street Week": "You have a very, very activist new UAW leader ... who has said very, very inflammatory things."

The UAW didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper: Why labor has something to celebrate this Labor Day

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