The United Auto Workers union is expanding its strike even further as labor contract negotiations with Detroit’s Big Three automakers continue to stall.
UAW President Shawn Fain announced Friday that the union is encouraging an additional 7,000 members at Ford and General Motors to join the strike.
“Despite our willingness to bargain, Ford and GM have refused to make meaningful progress at the table,” Fain said. “That’s why at noon Eastern time today we’ll expand our strike at these two companies.”
He called on workers located in Chicago and Lansing, Michigan, to join the cause, bringing the total to more than 25,000 workers walking off the job. Stellantis, however, will not be impacted by the latest strike expansion.
UAW President Shawn Fain Livestream Update 9/29/23 https://t.co/6TtSoViarO
— UAW (@UAW) September 29, 2023
“Moments before this broadcast, Stellantis made significant progress on the 2009 cost of living allowance, the right not to cross a picket line, as well as the right to strike over product commitments and plant closures, and outsourcing moratoriums,” Fain added. “We are excited about this momentum at Stellantis and hope it continues.”
The latest expansion comes one week after the UAW expanded its strike to more than 5,000 additional workers at 38 parts and distribution centers for GM and Stellantis. Until then, the strike had been limited to about 13,000 workers at a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan; a GM factory in Wentzville, Missouri; and a Stellantis facility in Toledo, Ohio.
“We will keep building our arsenal of democracy and we will win,” Fain said. “Our strategy is working.”
The UAW has been demanding double-digit pay increases for all workers, the elimination of its tiered wage system, and more paid time off, among other things. Some striking workers say they’re ready to return to their jobs, but only if their demands are met.
“We’re ready to go back to work whenever we can get a fair deal,” said Tiffanie Simmons of UAW Local 900 in Wayne, Michigan. “Nobody wanted to do this, nobody wanted to strike, but this is something that we felt we had to do.”