The United Auto Workers’ purpose for initiating targeted strikes is being questioned by major manufacturers in light of leaked communications from a union official who advocated to “keep them wounded for months.”
UAW communications director Jonah Furman is seen describing the union’s public posturing of issues and targeted strikes as inflicting “recurring reputations damage and operational chaos” to the automakers in private group chats on platform X, now known as Twitter.
The texts contradict UAW President Shawn Fain’s public declarations that the union has been bargaining in good faith and is available “24/7 to bargain a deal.” CNBC saw the communications, which The Detroit News first published on Thursday.
General Motors stated via email that “it’s now clear that the UAW leadership has always intended to cause months-long disruption, regardless of the harm it causes to its members and their communities.” “The information that was leaked raises questions about who is truly in charge of UAW strategy and demonstrates a callous disregard for the gravity of the situation.”
The union’s lack of negotiation was openly expressed by automobile executives, such as Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, and Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford Motor, before to the union-imposed strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. on September 14.
Given what is at risk for our employees, the companies, and this region, Ford Communications Chief Mark Truby called the leaked messages “disappointing, to say the least” in a statement released on Friday.
The communications are “extremely disturbing,” according to Chrysler parent Stellantis, and they “strongly indicate that the UAW’s approach to these talks is not in the best interest of the workforce.”
In an email, Stellantis said, “We are disappointed that it seems our employees are being used as pawns in an agenda that is not intended to meet their needs.”
Furman, who has been easily accessible during the talks, did not answer CNBC’s Friday request for comment right away. All phone calls to his number ended up in a full voicemail box.