The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is preparing to strike three assembly plants in the United States operated by General Motors (GM), Ford Motor, and Stellantis. According to UAW President Shawn Fain, the strikes will occur if the union and automakers fail to reach agreements by the deadline of 11:59 p.m. Fain stated that strikes were “likely” on Wednesday and reiterated this position on Thursday evening. The targeted plants 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.
These plants produce highly profitable vehicles, which are in high demand. Approximately 12,700 workers will participate in the strikes, including 5,800 at Stellantis, 3,600 at GM, and 3,300 at Ford. The UAW represents around 146,000 workers across these three automakers. Fain revealed that this is the first time the UAW will simultaneously strike all three of the “Big Three” automakers.
The UAW has proposed various key demands, including a 40% hourly pay increase, a reduced 32-hour work week, a return to traditional pensions, the elimination of compensation tiers, and the reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA). Ford stated that the UAW’s counterproposal showed little movement from the union’s initial demands and that implementing it would significantly increase labor costs. The automakers have made offers that address some of the UAW’s demands but not all.
Fain has referred to the strike as a “stand-up” strike, distinguishing it from historical “sit-down” strikes by the UAW in the 1930s. The union plans to begin targeted strikes at select plants and potentially expand the strikes based on the negotiations’ progress. This approach sets these strikes apart from previous ones. Targeted strikes focus on crucial plants that affect production in other plants due to a lack of parts.
This story is still developing, and more details will be provided.