The United Auto Workers is boosting strike pay to $250 weekly from $200 ahead of the union’s collective-bargaining effort with the Detroit automakers later this year.
The $50 rise, declared by UAW President Gary Jones Monday at the union’s bargaining convention at Cobo Center, is effective from March this year. Beginning in January, strike pay will boost again to $275 per week.
Strike pay comes out of the UAW’s Strike and Defense Fund. The fund held over $721 million in last year, states UAW. Delegates previously this year voted to keep a 2011 dues-increase intact until the fund reaches $850 million.
“No one goes to the bargaining table expecting to strike. But the UAW goes to the bargaining table planned to strike if our members need to strike. We don’t fear it,” Jones stated. “We are solid heading into the next four years of bargaining, and this extra security for UAW families carries us to the bargaining table united in our goals.”
Hanging over 2019’s talks between the UAW and Detroit’s automakers are four General Motors plant idlings in the U.S., concerning Detroit to Maryland. GM will indefinitely idle Warren Transmission and Baltimore Operations in near future. Lordstown Assembly in Ohio halted production previously this month and Detroit-Hamtramck is slated to halt all production in January.
A boost in the strike fund offers more incentive for employees to send a message to the automakers by striking or walking off the job.
UAW international leaders and local delegates are going to meet in Detroit this week to set the agenda for bargaining this summer with General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.