Today: Tuesday, 5 March 2024 year

The leader of the US auto industry union announced the start of a general strike.

The leader of the US auto industry union announced the start of a general strike.

The large American trade union United Auto Workers (UAW) on Friday night announced the start of a mass strike at the plants of automakers General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, threatening the United States with serious economic damage.

“Today, for the first time in our history, we will strike three members of the Big Three at once,” union leader Sean Fein said during an address broadcast on the union’s official YouTube channel.

Union members are demanding significant wage increases from companies, along with improved pensions, increased vacations and other measures.

About 150 thousand members of the trade union work at the plant of the three largest automakers, which has recently been negotiating on their behalf to improve working conditions. The UAW had previously set midnight Thursday, East Coast time, as the deadline to meet its demands, but no agreement had been announced as of that evening.

The strike will begin at midnight local time and the two sides still have two hours to avoid it, but their positions are still too far apart, according to CNBC.

As union leader Sean Fein warned the day before, the strike will take place “at an unprecedented level” in all three companies, but will not affect all enterprises at the same time. According to him, we are talking about a limited number of locations, but over time, depending on progress in the dialogue with leaders of auto industry companies, it may grow.

In turn, Ford CEO Jim Farley made it clear on Thursday evening that his concern had not received any counterproposal from the union over the past two weeks. Farley also expressed confidence that if negotiations between the parties fail, the situation threatens to turn into “one of the largest strikes” in American history.

A few hours before the deadline set by the union expired, as the White House press service reported, US President Joe Biden himself telephoned the parties to the dispute. The administration did not provide details of the discussions that took place, only indicating that the head of state expected to receive information about the status of the negotiations on the eve of a strike threatening the country.