The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike has intensified with the recent announcement of 38 new strike sites across the country.
The Union president addressed the strikers in a video message Friday morning, announcing the addition of General Motors and Stellantis to the week-long strike.
“At noon Eastern today, all parts distributions centers at General Motors and Stellantis will be on strike,” said Fain. “We will shut down parts distribution until those two companies come to their senses and come to the table with a serious offer…”
“…We invite and encourage everyone who supports our cause to join us on the picket line. From our friends and families all the way up to the president of the United States, we invite you to join us in our fight,” Fain continued. “The way you can help is to build our movement and show the companies that the public stands with us, and stands with our elected national negotiators.”
The current strike represents the first time in history that there has been a simultaneous labor action involving General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler.
The strike initially started when approximately 12,700 UAW workers went on strike at assembly plants belonging to the ‘Big Three’ automakers: GM, Ford, and Stellantis. Among its many initial demands were the reversal of concessions that the UAW made during the 2007 and 2009 negotiations, including the reinstatement of pension plans and retiree health care for all workers, the resumption of cost-of-living adjustments to protect workers from rising prices, and the elimination of the lower tier of wages and benefits for workers. The Union also wants an immediate 20% member raise and a 46% wage hike for their four-year contract.
The new 38 strike sites will add about 5,625 UAW workers from coast to coast. Targeting these distribution centers will likely put more pressure on the ‘Big Three’ and cause massive revenue loss due to lacking car repair parts.
However, there is a silver lining to the strike. Negotiations with Ford have seemingly improved. In his morning announcement, Fain acknowledged the improvements with Ford, yet also noted that despite the relatively positive talks with Ford, the company “wasn’t off the hook” yet.
“Ford is working diligently with the UAW to reach a deal that rewards our workforce and enables Ford to invest in a vibrant and growing future,” said Ford in a statement on Friday. “Although we are making progress in some areas, we still have significant gaps to close on the key economic issues. In the end, the issues are interconnected and must work within an overall agreement that supports our mutual success.”