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UAW strikes to expand on Sept. 29 if no major progress

The United Auto Workers (UAW) threaten to expand its strike against the Big Three automakers — Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and Stellantis (STLA) — again on Friday, September 29, if no major progress is made in labor contract negotiations.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden joined striking auto workers on the picket line in Michigan. Former President Donald Trump will be visiting a non-union parts center in Michigan on Wednesday, September 27.

Yahoo Finance’s Pras Subramanian, Dan Howley, and Josh Schafer discuss the latest news on the UAW strikes. For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Video transcript

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Let's talk about some trending stories today. Big news here with the UAW. Yahoo Finance has confirmed with the UAW that they will expand their strikes tomorrow, the stand-up strikes, if there's no major progress made with the big three. So we're seeing the UAW again going to do that. This is the second expansion potentially after last Friday when they went to 38 parts distribution centers just for GM and Stellantis, not Ford, because they felt Ford had made some progress with them in their talks.

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This comes as Trump now, guys, is going to visit Michigan after Biden. But he's going to a non-union parts center called Drake Enterprises. Of course, this being Trump. But there will be supposedly some autoworkers there. A lot going on in Michigan right now. A lot going on in the world of automakers. And I'm not sure what you guys think about this, but I think this is sort of like, we keep hitting more and more new sort of terrain here for this whole battle.

JOSH SCHAFER: I mean, it seems like the UAW is certainly living up to what they said they would do, right? They said consistently, basically, no matter where-- it seems like no matter where the negotiations go, as long as they don't sign a new contract, come that next Friday, come the next deadline, they're going to ratchet it up another notch, because they have made progress with Ford. So you were wondering, OK, you've started to make some progress, do you not want to then extend the strike, hurt the autoworkers more or the auto companies more?

But it seems like, they don't care. They're like, no, we're on a process here. No matter where the contract negotiations are at, even if we're very close to signing, we're going to follow the schedule, which I think seems to maybe be working at this point. It's hard to-- it's hard to tell, because we're not in the negotiation room, of course.

DAN HOWLEY: It's interesting seeing the kind of political movement now, you know, with Trump going to a non-union shop, but also talking to union workers?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: They said, current union workers and some non-current workers, so some maybe some ex-workers. It's just going to be at a park center. Who knows who's going to be there? It could include some UAW, guys. It could not. But that's what they're sort of saying. And he's going to go there to address autoworkers. Who knows who's going to be there.

DAN HOWLEY: But then we also have Biden there on the line.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: On the line.

DAN HOWLEY: On the picket line, right?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: He went to a GM center-- part center, yep.

DAN HOWLEY: So now, is it that they are props at this point, where, you know, there's this-- you know, the workers are trying to get better rates or more-- less work, less hours or fewer hours. And now, you have presidential candidates just showing up and being, like, hey, what's up guys, you want to hang out?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Well I will say it was a pretty powerful scene yesterday to see the President of United States go to a picket line. It was, like, maybe a few dozen workers there. And they were sort of just, wow, the president's here supporting us. And he said you guys have kind of done a lot for the country, you guys deserve more.

So it's a big sort of chip in the pot for the UAW. Also, really want to add that tomorrow or Friday, you know, they could not strike at Ford, or they could ratchet it up at Ford and maybe back off GM or Atlantis if they feel they're making progress. So we'll see what happens. It's a very interesting chess game they're doing. But, you know?

JOSH SCHAFER: And a political chess game, too, as you said. If one person from one party goes, the other party is going to feel like they have to go, right? And that's probably something we're going to start seeing business-wide, industry-wide, as we sort of heat up in a political season.