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UAW's Fain encourages members to stand together: 'There's more to be won'

Posted at 3:59 PM, Oct 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-20 18:06:03-04

(WXYZ) — UAW President Shawn Fain encouraged union membership to stay strong during an address on Friday afternoon as the union's strike against the Big Three hit the five-week mark.

Fain didn't announce any new plants going on strike and admitted that the companies have offered record contracts, but said "There's more to be won."

"We have one tool and that’s solidarity," Fain said.

‘There is more to be won.’ Fain encourages UAW members to stay united

"Let me tell you what the companies' path to victory is. Fear, uncertainty, doubt and division," he added.

His address comes amid new offers from General Motors and Stellantis that brought them closer to Ford's current offer. Now, all three automakers are offering 23% wage increases over the life of the contract, but there are still differences and areas where Fain said the automakers need to improve.

"We’ve looked at their proposals, and in my opinion and in the opinion of the vice presidents and national negotiators, there is more to be won," Fain said.

Fain also called out the companies for saying that every time they make an offer, it's the best they can do, until a new offer gets made, with Fain saying that means there's more room to move.

See where the latest offers from all three automakers stand in the video player above.

Fain details the latest contract offers from the Big 3

"We agree. These are already record contracts, but they come at the end of decades of record decline," Fain said. "It’s not enough to be the best ever when auto workers have gone backward for the past decades."

He also spoke about Bill Ford Jr.'s comments earlier this week, and an update from General Motors yesterday. In the comments on Monday, Bill Ford Jr. said that the UAW should team up with Ford to take on foreign automakers.

Bill Ford discusses 'future of American manufacturing'

"I want to be crystal clear on one thing. The days of the UAW and Ford being a team to fight other companies are over. We won’t be used," Fain said. "We will forever and always be own the side of working people everywhere. Non-union automakers are not the enemy. Those are our future family."

Fain went on to say that in the future, they're planning to organize non-union auto companies like they've never done before.

"The bottom line is we’ve got cards left to play, and they have money left to spend," Fain said. "If we stand together, if we have faith, we will win. Not just a good contract, not just a record contract, but a contract that turns the tide. A contract that finally, finally starts to make things right at the Big Three and for autoworkers everywhere."

After the Facebook Live announcement, Stellantis issued a statement on the negotiations:

"Negotiations between Stellantis and the UAW continue to be productive, building on the momentum from the past several weeks. We have made progress on narrowing the gaps on significant issues that will bring immediate financial gains and job security for our employees. Our focus remains on resolving those issues as soon as possible and finding solutions that protect the Company and our employees."