DETROIT—The president of the United Auto Workers union warned automakers that the union is prepared to strike if it doesn’t get its way in upcoming contract talks.

Gary Jones told delegates at the union’s bargaining convention that it would raise weekly strike pay from $200 to $250 per week in 2019 and to $275 in January of next year, according to a UAW press release.

The new union president says no one expects a strike, but the UAW is prepared to walk out. He said raising the payments is a symbol to members that the union has their backs.

Talks with Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler begin this summer. The four-year contracts with all three expire Sept. 15.


Back in November, GM announced that it would slash 15,000 jobs and end production at five plants in North America, including in Detroit-Hamtramck and Warren. The automaker then announced in February that it will continue production at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant until January 2020. Previously, GM was scheduled to end output at the plant in June.