The United Auto Workers’ strike against the three biggest U.S. automakers reached into its third day on Sunday with no resolution in sight, although union negotiations with General Motors were set to resume.
About 12,700 UAW workers were on strike at three factories, one each owned by Ford, Stellantis, and GM, in the most significant U.S. industrial labor action in decades. It was the first time the UAW union had gone on strike simultaneously against all three automakers.
The union and the companies appear far apart in settling on a new pact, with the automakers offering raises of about 20% over a 4½-year contract proposal, including an immediate 10% raise. The unions are demanding a 40% increase.
UAW President Shawn Fain told MSNBC on Sunday that progress in the talks has been slow. Union talks with Stellantis and Ford were set to resume on Monday.
“I don’t really want to say we’re closer,” he said. “It’s a shame that the companies didn’t take our advice and get down to business from the beginning of bargaining back in mid-July.”
Asked in a subsequent appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” show whether workers would walk out at more plants this week, Fain said the union was “prepared to do whatever we have to do.”
U.S. President Joe Biden, who has signaled support for the union’s efforts, dispatched acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and economic adviser Gene Sperling to Detroit, the hub of the U.S. auto industry, to speak to the UAW and the automakers.