UAW strike: What employees need to know if they're still working when contract expires

If the United Auto Workers and Big Three don't reach a deal on Thursday, workers will strike, but not everyone will be on strike immediately.

UAW President Shawn Fain said it will be a "Stand Up Strike," meaning that only a few Locals will strike at first, and more may join depending on how negotiations are going.

MORE: What to know as union, automaker negotiations continue

This means that employees who are not striking will be working without a contract agreement.

The UAW has put out guidance for these employees. 

Here's what to know:

What expires when the contract expires

The UAW said the companies cannot change terms and conditions of employment, except that the companies no longer need to arbitrate disputes. 

Companies cannot fire the employees who are working without a contract for no reason nor reduce their wages and benefits, and the grievance process still applies.

After 11:59 p.m. Thursday, these expire:

  • Arbitration (but not the grievance procedure)
  • Management Rights
  • Union security (but not dues checkoff)
  • No strike/no lockout


Strike pay and benefits for UAW members if no deal is reached

This Thursday, the UAW collective bargaining agreement will end, meaning a strike is likely for the roughly 146,000 employees of Detroit's Big Three. Union members will get some pay while on strike and are eligible for some benefits while on strike – but here's a breakdown of how that all pays out.

What to do while working under an expired contract

  • Report any changes in terms and conditions of employment to committee person
  • Refuse voluntary overtime
  • Attend Local Union meetings

What not to do when working under an expired contract

  • Work more slowly or refuse to do job duties
  • Confront, argue, or threaten anyone if there is a dispute
  • Damage company property.

How employees can protect themselves

  • Carefully follow all standard operating procedures, safety policies, and supervisor’s instructions.
  • Call for a committee person if they are disciplined, asked to do work they are not trained to do, or asked to do work that is unsafe.

Watch FOX 2 News Live