Looming UAW strike could impact local GM facility

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Autoworkers in Rochester are preparing to go on strike if a deal is not reached between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Detroit automakers by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday.

Dan Maloney, president of UAW Local 1097, said if tomorrow’s deadline is not met, a coordinated strike could potentially impact the GM facility in Rochester, General Motors Components Holdings, LLC.

“They’ll be targeted and then escalating rolling strikes. Strike actions, until we get a good tentative agreement that we can roll out to our membership for approval and ratification,” Maloney said.

According to Maloney, the first group of workers that would go on strike in Rochester would be those in shift 3.

“We are a three-shift operation. Tomorrow night you’ll see the third shift come out. And that’s about 100 folks. Total we have 700 people here at the, hourly folks, at the Rochester General Motors facility,” Maloney said.

GM electrician Christopher Brancato said he’s been in this situation before, leading the way at the GM operations facility during the last UAW strike in 2019.

“I was still third shift then. Third shift by choice. It was our group that actually starts it, we walk out because the contract ends on our shift,” Brancato said.

The last known offers from GM and Ford were 10-percent raises over four years.

In addition to wage increases — 40% over four years — the UAW is also demanding a four-day work week.

Ford CEO Jim Farley addressed the situation Tuesday night.

“We are optimistic we’ll find a way forward. We have 48 hours to go but we aren’t going to support a four day work week,” Farley said.

Brancato said it’s time hourly workers see the kind of pay raises CEOs of the three major Detroit automakers — GM, Ford and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler) have taken post-pandemic.

“That’s what they are asking for. It’s the same thing the CEOs got, which is 40 percent. if it’s good enough for (GM CEO) Mary Barra and the other CEOs, it should be good enough for me and my brothers and sisters,” Brancato said.