“This timing creates a unique opportunity for auto workers on both sides of the border,” she said. “We have a moment here to develop our unions and our bargaining strategies in ways that are both big and bold.”
Fain said he doesn’t see challenges with the two unions trying to secure investments at the same time.
“I don’t worry about competing over product with Unifor,” Fain said. “I believe there’s a lot of product to go around, especially with the expansion of EV and different things going on right now. We have to work together and be on the same page so we’re not allowing ourselves to be whipsawed by the companies.”
Fain said his top priorities this fall are job security and eliminating tiers that pay workers different rates depending on when they were hired.
“We’re in the best of times for these companies and they’re still idling and closing plants,” Fain said. “That’s a problem.”
The decision by Stellantis to idle Belvidere Assembly in Indiana was a key topic for UAW Vice President Rich Boyer, who oversees the Stellantis department.
In a speech to members that included an emotional video featuring Belvidere workers, Boyer used the site’s uncertain future as an example of how the UAW needed to be united and “start punching back” against corporations.
“We’ve got to quit pretending that there are two divisions in this union,” Boyer said. “There’s one union — our union. And until you guys decide to stand up and go back to your membership and make them understand that all we have is each other, we’re in trouble.”