United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said Wednesday that autoworkers and the Big Three automakers are still far apart as negotiations continue, and that the union may strike all of the Big Three at once. “We’re keeping all of our options open. An all-out strike is still a possibility,” Fain said during a webcast with members, during which he also said the union will not be extending the contracts, which expire at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.
The UAW and Ford Motor Co.
General Motors Co.
and Stellantis NV
have made progress during their talks but were still far apart on the union’s key priorities, though negotiations are ongoing, Fain said. “For the first time in our history, we may strike all of the Big Three at once,” Fain said, adding that he looked at this time as “our defining moment.” He said if no deal is reached, the union plans to do “standup strikes” at certain plants, which he said is designed to keep the companies guessing. These could escalate and spread elsewhere in order to give the union leverage in bargaining. He told UAW members that they should not strike unless their local is called to do so. A targeted strike helps the UAW avoid distributing strike pay, set recently at $500 a week per member, to all 150,000 of its members. But it could have a broader effect. “It is possible for strikes at critical parts plants to have much wider implications,” Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, said in an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday. He noted that the 1998 strike against GM, a work stoppage by 9,200 workers at two of that company’s plants in Flint, Mich., resulted in shutdowns that affected more than 150,000 workers. See: These Ford, GM plants are the most likely strike targets Jody Calemine, a senior fellow and director of labor and employment policy at the Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, said Wednesday that the union is employing an interesting strategy. “It will turn the screws slowly and …