Sep 20, 2023 - News

Fain sets deadline for more UAW strikes, bashes Trump ahead of visit

Striking workers stand outside Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant on Friday, Sept. 15. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

UAW president Shawn Fain has new demands as the historic auto workers strike continues to play out.

Driving the news: The firebrand leader announced a new strike deadline of Friday at noon.

  • If Ford, General Motors or Stellantis have not made substantial progress toward a fair agreement by then, Fain says the United Auto Workers will call on more members to join the strike.

Why it matters: The number of union workers who strike will determine how much of an impact it has on the overall economy.

  • So far only select locals in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri have been called on to strike.

Catch up quick: The UAW launched the strike against the Detroit Three last week after negotiators failed to reach a deal for a new contract over the summer.

  • Those automakers collectively have about 150,000 UAW-represented employees at dozens of factories across the United States.

The latest: Former President Trump is expected to visit Michigan next week to give a speech to union members.

  • The 2024 GOP front-runner will give a prime-time speech on Sept. 27 instead of attending the second Republican primary debate in an attempt to get the votes of auto workers.

What they're saying: "Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers," Fain said in a statement.

  • Trump criticized Fain last week, telling NBC News that union members are "being sold down the river" by their recently elected president.

Zoom in: "We want everyone to have a livable wage and a happier life — we deserve it," UAW Local 900 member Charles Wade, who's worked at Ford's Michigan Assembly plant for 25 years, told Axios from the picket line last week.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) made visits to Michigan last week to rally with workers.


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