UAW President Gary Jones announced on Monday that employee strike pay has increased from $ 200 to $ 250 per week, effectively immediately, as more than 900 team leaders gathered on day 1 of the association's negotiation convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

The trade union representing about 156,000 car dealers employed by General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles this summer will begin negotiating new contracts.

"Activism and solidarity, that's what secures our power," Jones said to a fierce audience. "The bets are high." We are ready, "Jones said to a standing ovation." We're ready to look up and fight for what's right. We are ready to fight for our brothers and sisters and act as one. "

He noted that weekly strike wages will jump to $ 275 a week in January 2020.

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Union leaders said they wanted to make it clear to Detroit 3 that the threat of strike is real.

US employee contracts expire on September 1

4, and automatic leaders have dared to watch as Canadian workforce Unifor has unleashed a massive television and social media campaign against GM in hope that the company will hold Oshawa, Ontario, the factory open.

That closure is part of GM's relocation to idle five North American plants, including the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Warren Transmission in Michigan. last week, and UAW sues it, claiming it violates the current contract.

Last month, GM announced that the Detroit-Hamtramck will continue to produce Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala until January 2020, though it has wrapped up the production of the one-revolution Volt electric car. More: General Motors to close Detroit, Ohio, Canada plants

More: GM: The Detroit-Hamtramck plant should be open 7 months longer than planned

Jones told delegates who gathered in Detroit to negotiate that members would have security in knowing that their health insurance and strike fund would maintain them at the negotiating table.

"No one goes to the negotiating table who expects to strike. But the UAW goes to the negotiating table that is prepared to beat if our members have to strike. We don't fear it," Jones said. "Increasing the foundation fund is an important symbol of our having their back. "

The UAW strike and defense fund exceeded $ 721 million in 2018. Delegates voted in the UAW Constitutional Convention to maintain a premium increase that finances the strike fund until it reaches $ 850 million – at which point the fund will trigger the dues to go. to levels before 2011. If the fund ever falls below $ 650 million, the amount will increase again.

"We are strong on our way into the next four years of negotiations," Jones said. "And this extra security for UAW families leads us to the negotiating table unified in our goals. "

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Congressman Debbie Dingell embraces United Auto Workers president Gary Jones in the City Hall to discuss retirement at Teamster's health and welfare building in Detroit on Friday 20th. July 2018. On Monday, they embraced again when UAW honored the work of congressman John Dingell. (Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press)

Foreign participants mentioned health cover coverage as top priority in this year's talks, along with job security, working conditions and concern for car manufacturers' use of too few temporary workers who have little voice. and no job protection. The members of the Union pointed out high-wage salaries among the stationary workers' wages.

UAW represents over 400,000 members, including casino workers and university instructors, and around 700,000 retirees.

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard on 3 13-222 -6512 or phoward@freepress.com . Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid . Read more at Ford and sign up for our newsletter .

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