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The UAW supports workers on strike against Clarios and Constellium
The President of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Shawn Fain, has hailed workers on strike against suppliers Clarios and Constellium in a Facebook Live appearance. Fain called the strikers an “inspiration” to the union and pledged solidarity with them.
Workers vote down contract agreement at Clarios battery plant
Approximately 400 workers at a Clarios vehicle battery plant in Toledo voted this week to extend a strike that began on May 8 by rejecting a tentative contract agreement by a wide margin. The plant supplies batteries for General Motors and Ford Motor Co. Fain said that the workers were fighting for a decent wage, and the company was trying to impose an unfavourable work schedule on them.
Concerns around health and safety issues at Constellium Automotive plant
Union officials say that around 160 UAW workers at a Constellium Automotive plant in suburban Detroit have been on strike since May 17 due to concerns about health and safety issues, as well as management’s disciplinary practices. The plant supplies aluminum structures and crash management systems for a range of Ford products.
UAW flexes its bargaining power
Fain said that the two strikes are examples of how the UAW can flex its bargaining power. He emphasised that the union is prepared to strike if necessary, adding that whether or not the UAW chooses to do so depends on the corporations. “If they give our members their fair share, we’re going to be fine. If they don’t, we’re going to do what we have to do,” said Fain.
Aggressive tone toward Detroit 3 automakers
Fain has taken a more aggressive tone towards the Detroit 3 automakers since taking office in March. He has described multibillion-dollar corporations as the union’s “one true enemy” as he prepares for this year’s contract negotiations.
In short, the UAW president’s comments demonstrate a desire to maintain solidarity with striking workers while also being prepared to take on major corporations as contract negotiations loom.