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The UAW always strives to settle contracts and disputes with management through negotiations, not strikes. Contrary to anti-union propaganda, the vast majority of UAW contracts are settled at the bargaining table without resorting to strike action. Nevertheless, there are times when talks alone don't succeed in resolving issues.
The democratic procedure for calling a strike is spelled out in Article 50 of the UAW Constitution.
The local union or the International Executive Board may issue a call for a strike vote.
All members in the bargaining unit(s) involved must be given due notice of where and when the strike vote will take place.
Only members in good standing are eligible to vote.
The strike vote must be conducted by secret ballot.
The ballots are counted by a committee elected for that specific purpose by the members.
A two-thirds majority of those casting ballots must vote in favor of a strike before any strike authorization can be requested from the International Executive Board.
The International Executive Board must approve and authorize any strike action. Authorization comes only after the International Executive Board has confirmed that all of the above conditions have been met.
Once the IEB authorizes a strike, the striking members are eligible for benefits from the UAW Strike and defense Fund. Current strike benefits are $200 per week along with health care coverage and life insurance.
To receive strike benefits, a member must take part in picket line duty and/or other strike support activities.
The UAW Strike and Defense Fund
To lessen the financial burden on striking UAW members and their families, the UAW maintains one of the largest strike funds in the North American labor movement.
The UAW Strike and Defense Fund not only helps UAW members and their families pay the bills during strikes, the fund also strengthens the union's bargaining position by sending a clear message to employers that they can't starve UAW members into surrender. As such, the UAW Strike and Defense Fund provides a strong incentive for employers to negotiate in good faith instead of trying to provoke strikes.