Local UAW workers prepare for strike, deadline 2 days away

The clock is ticking with only about two days left before tens of thousands of UAW workers could walk off the job.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:01 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) - The clock is ticking with only about two days left before tens of thousands of UAW workers could walk off the job.

At this point, the UAW has turned down all offers from Ford, GM, and Stellantis, but the union has lowered some of its demands. With the deadline looming, some workers are preparing for a strike.

“Oh, we’re just business as usual right now. We’re just waiting to hear from international whether they came up with a fair and equitable agreement between the UAW and GM,” said Manuel Dosal, a GM employee and chairman of UAW Local 668 in Saginaw.

He said he’s prepared for a strike if union leaders call for a work stoppage once the current agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. Thursday night, Sept. 14.

“I’ve saved money since the beginning of the year for any potential work stoppage because this is always looming, and we try to preach that to our membership. Make sure that you’re prepared, make sure that you can spend time out if necessary,” he said.

Dosal admitted that it’s a stressful time, but he’s imploring his UAW brothers and sisters, especially those facing the prospect of a strike for the first time, to keep their worries in check.

“The only thing that I can say is stay calm. Right now, it’s in the control of the top negotiators and GM right now, so the best thing to do is just wait and see what happens and we’ll move forward from there,” he said.

As talks continue, the UAW has lowered some of its demands. It originally asked for a 46 percent pay raise, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, and restoration of traditional pensions for new hires among other demands.

However, a recent Wall Street Journal report said the union has reduced its raise percentage closer to the mid-30s

A letter from Local 668 is urging members not to strike until a member of their local bargaining committee tells them it’s time. If that happens, Local 668 said they should safely shut down their equipment and be careful not to damage it as the union could be held liable.

UAW members would then walk out of their posts together, get personal vehicles off company property, and leave for a rally in a location to be determined.

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