Report: UAW to Avoid National Strike if Negotiations Fail

The United Auto Workers union is preparing itself for a big year and that means strategizing. According to a new report from Automotive News, the leading strategy isn’t a national strike.

That’s because the UAW is different now than it once was. With fewer members and more than just auto workers to represent. But with its labor contract with GM expiring in September and plants closing across America, everyone’s a little on edge.

But organizing a national strike would be nigh impossible according to the experts that AN spoke to.

The publication reports that, if action is required, the union will prefer targeted strike action instead. That would look like picket lines and string workers outside of one, central plant. As per the report, Toledo transmission and Tonawanda engine plants would be prime targets because they supply plants around the continent.

Without the parts coming from those plants, work would be halted and GM would still feel pressure from the union, while union workers keep pay and benefits. And rotating strikes could be used as relief for those workers who are striking.

As an example, Toledo could strike for a few weeks, before returning to work as employees at Tonawanda take over at their plant.

Naturally, GM will likely have its own strategy for minimizing the impact of strikes. There is also no guarantee of a strike. Although the UAW wants a lot—job security, more full-time jobs, and (in a perfect world) new vehicles for GM’s deallocated plants—GM may be able to give up enough to avoid any strike action at all.

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