The United Auto Workers union is now organizing a strike authorization vote, which gives them the right to call for a walkout – though it could mostly be treated as a negotiations tactics rather than an actual intention to organize a strike.
The UAW has established timelines for strike-authorization votes at its Fiat Chrysler and General Motors locals in a move that could be used as a bargaining chip during its national contract negotiations with the Detroit automakers. If given approval by the union members, the UAW can call a strike in the near future if the talks go sour. The move has been widely anticipated and is traditional for the contract dealings. Still, the move is also important because it’s the first time since 2007 the UAW has the right to strike against FAC US or GM – back in 2009 when Chrysler and General Motors went bankrupt the UAW agreed to ban this right during the 2011 contract negotiations.
But the union has also called a strike last back in 1976 when they had a breakdown in negotiations with Ford, though limited actions were conducted against Chrysler and GM back in 2007. Still, the contracts could hit an impasse this year: veteran UAW members have not received a salary hike in a decade and almost all members are dissatisfied with the two-tier wage system that has been adopted to support the three automakers after the recession. Also, the Detroit Three have posted their highest profits in years, especially in their region of interest – North America – where auto industry sales are booming and en route to a new record.