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1 min ago
Ford says it may have to fire members who aren't technically on strike
Ford CEO Jim Farley talks to reporters about contract negotiations with the UAW at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Sept. 13. Paul Sancy/AP
It's possible that the big three car companies will close their doors and lay off workers who aren't technically on strike.
Ford CEO Jim Farley said Thursday on CNN that the strike at plants that make critical parts could affect workers at downstream assembly plants.
"We can't make a vehicle without an engine, transmission or stamping. So those people, you know, are basically going to be fired," Farley said.
Protesters are not entitled to unemployment benefits, but workers on temporary leave can receive them, which differ depending on the state in which they work, but would be less than the union's $500 strike compensation. There are also legal issues in different states about eligibility for unemployment.
A spokesman for the union said early on Thursday that he could not comment on members' entitlement to unemployment benefits if they had been laid off due to plant closures for lack of parts caused by the strike.
4 mins ago
Why aren't all trade unionists on strike right now?
By Luciana López
According to the union, only about 12,700 employees of the Big Three are on strike at the moment. That's a far smaller number of workers than the union's total of 145,000 members at Ford, GM and Stellantis, the maker of the Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep brands.
Having fewer striking members could help the union preserve its resources for a prolonged strike. With fewer people on strike, the union would have to shell out less money from its $825 million strike fund, allowing the money to be available for longer.
However, the union has made clear that it could call more workers to strike if negotiations do not progress. Starting with a smaller number of striking workers also gives the union leeway to escalate the strike as a bargaining tactic.
9 mins ago
What is the auto parts manufacturers' union strike about?
Members of the United Auto Workers walked off the job and joined the demonstrations at midnight Friday.
Videos of workers leaving factories to cheers from union members waving banners were posted again and again on UAW social media. Picket lines were forming, a sign not only that specific strikes were taking shape, but also of the possibility of wider strikes that the union has already hinted at.
The United Auto Workers union is striking against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, the first time in its history it has hit all three unionized U.S. automakers at the same time.
The strike came after the union made ambitious demands on wages, benefits and job protections for its members. The union was trying to recoup many benefits they had been forced to give up more than a decade ago when companies were cash-strapped and on the verge of bankruptcy.
All three automakers are reporting record or near-record profits.
The strike targeting three plants includes fewer than 13,000 of the UAW's 145,000 workers.
Union President Shawn Fain threatened to escalate the strike if automakers refuse to meet workers' demands. Automakers have scoffed at the union's call for big raises, a four-day workweek and an expanded pension program, among others.