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UAW Chief as Strike Against Automakers Launched Says US Working Class 'Fed Up, Fired Up'

© AP Photo / Paul SancyaUnited Auto Workers President Shawn Fain speaks during a rally in Detroit, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain speaks during a rally in Detroit, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.09.2023
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - United Auto Workers (UAW) union President Shawn Fain said during a rally in Detroit that American working class citizens are fed up and fired up about standing up to companies over unfair wages and treatment.
About 13,000 workers went on strike after the UAW in the United States announced in the early hours of Friday that strikes at all three plants of the US "big three" automakers, namely Ford, Stellantis and General Motors, had begun after negotiations failed to increase workers' wages by a deadline set late Thursday night.
"We have to do whatever we have to do by any means necessary, we have nothing to fear... I see a working class that is fed up and fired up," Fain said on Friday.
Fain said a US auto worker would have to work for 100 years to make what a CEO in a major US auto firm makes in one year.
"So we're gonna wreck their economy because it only works for the billionaire," Fain said.
According to an analysis from Fortune magazine, last year Ford CEO Jim Farley made at least 281 times what the average company employee earns, which is less than $75,000.
The report also highlighted that General Motos CEO Mary Barra earned $29 million last year, 361 times what the average company employees earned, which was an annual salary of about $80,000.
Negotiations between the UAW and major US auto firms will resume on Saturday, according to the White House.
FILE - United Auto Workers members march while holding signs at a union rally held near a Stellantis factory Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Detroit. The demands that a more combative United Auto Workers union has made of General Motors, Stellantis and Ford — demands that even the UAW's president has called “audacious” — are edging it closer to a strike when its current contract ends Sept. 14.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.09.2023
‘Pro-Labor’ Biden Must ‘Walk Fine Line’ Between Union, Bosses in Posturing on UAW Strike
The UAW demands equitable contract offers from Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, often referred to as the Big Three, including a substantial 46% wage increase and a reduced work week to 32 hours, among other provisions.
The automakers have already presented their proposals in response to the UAW's demands. General Motors offered a 20% wage increase, Stellantis - which owns Chrysler - offered 14.5%, and Ford proposed a 9% wage increase and a 6% lump sum to be added later.
Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden said he is dispatching two members of his team - acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House Senior Advisor Gene Sperling - to offer their full support in reaching a contract agreement for all parties involved in the negotiations.
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