UAW Launches Unprecedented Strike Against Big Three Automakers

By Staff Writer September 15, 2023 756
UAW workers on strike at Stellantis’ Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio early Friday Morning Sept 15. UAW workers on strike at Stellantis’ Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio early Friday Morning Sept 15. t

Detroit, Mi.- For the first time in its 88-year history, the United Auto Workers has launched targeted strikes against Detroit's Big Three automakers simultaneously. Around 13,000 union workers, 5,800 at Stellantis, 3,600 at GM and 3,300 at Ford, have walked off the line at three plants across three states. The facilities are GM’s midsize truck and full-size van plant in Wentzville, Missouri; Ford’s Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV plant in Wayne, Michigan; and Stellantis’ Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio. The selected plants produce highly profitable vehicles for the automakers that are in high-demand. “The UAW Stand Up Strike begins at all three of the Big Three,” the union said in a post on X,  just after midnight Friday.

Ford, Stellantis and General Motors had all upped their wage proposals in the final days and hours of negotiations before the contract expired late Thursday night. The automakers say they have been negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement. General Motors CEO Mary Barra called the companies' just-under-the-wire proposal on Thursday afternoon a “compelling and unprecedented economic package," in a statement about GM's latest offer, which would raise wages by 20% over the length of the contract. ”It addresses what you've told us is most important to you, in spite of the heated rhetoric from UAW leadership,” she told the workers.

In a statement late Thursday night, Ford said the UAW had presented its “first substantive counterproposal” to four of the company’s offers, but it “showed little movement from the union’s initial demands.” Ford added, “If implemented, the (UAW) proposal would more than double Ford’s current UAW-related labor costs, which are already significantly higher than the labor costs of Tesla, Toyota and other foreign-owned automakers in the United States that utilize non-union-represented labor.”

“We got to do what we got to do to get our share of economic and social justice in this strike,” UAW president Shawn Fain said outside the Ford facility in Wayne. “We’re going to be out here until we get our share of economic justice. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes.”

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Last modified on Thursday, 21 September 2023 11:04