United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain Secures Concessions from General Motors in Labor Negotiations
United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain has emerged victorious in the tough 2023 labor negotiations with General Motors (GM), securing a significant concession from the automaker. Fain’s recent rally speech indicates that he is not done yet and is seeking further progress. However, it is crucial to strike a balance that doesn’t disadvantage the Big Three auto manufacturers, including GM, Ford Motor, and Stellantis, as it would be detrimental to all parties involved.
Fain announced that GM has agreed to include electric battery plant workers in the master labor contract that governs all UAW workers at the company. This development marks a significant milestone for Fain and the UAW, as they have the power to unionize any group of workers. The unionization of battery plant workers in Ohio and Michigan under the UAW is highly likely. However, the details regarding the contract they will work under and their status as GM employees or suppliers remain to be determined. GM confirmed that negotiations are ongoing and their goal is to reach an agreement that benefits employees and ensures the company’s future success.
Speaking at a rally in Chicago, Fain expressed his satisfaction with the progress made so far. He emphasized the UAW’s determination to achieve social and economic justice not only for the Big Three but also beyond. While the exact meaning of social and economic justice for Fain was not clarified, he highlighted the importance of the working class fighting against corporate greed and the billionaire class.
It is worth noting that the Big Three automakers have generated approximately $315 billion in operating profit over the past decade, with sales totaling around $4.8 trillion. This translates to a profit margin of about 6.6%, which raises the question of whether it is sufficient. Comparing these figures with other automakers can provide valuable insights.
GM’s concessions also include wage increases of approximately 20% over the contract’s duration, inflation protection, and a substantial wage hike in the first year to offset recent inflation. Despite these developments, both Ford and GM shares have experienced a decline of 21% over the past three months. On the other hand, Stellantis, being a more global company, is less affected by the U.S. market and offers a more affordable stock, trading at a lower multiple of estimated 2024 earnings.
In conclusion, Shawn Fain’s successful negotiations with GM have marked a significant milestone for the UAW. However, it is crucial to strike a balance that ensures the competitiveness of the Big Three automakers in the long run. The ongoing negotiations and concessions offered by GM demonstrate a commitment to rewarding employees and securing the company’s future success.