Auto workers strike begins at Ford, GM and Stellantis plants

Image credits: United Auto Workers Union

The UAW will do just that Go ahead with strike threats against the Big Three automakers – Ford, General Motors and Stellantis – after the two sides failed to reach an agreement. This is the first time in history that the three automakers have gone on strikes simultaneously.

The automakers and the UAW had until 11:59 p.m. Thursday night to reach an agreement. Now, the UAW will call on its 150,000 union members to strike at factories across the country.

We will not hit all facilities at once. we will He hits everyone three companies, a Historical Firstly, Starting in a Limited number to Targeted Locations Which we will He is “Announcing,” UAW President Shawn Fine said during a Facebook Live event Thursday night.

Union members were equipped with picket lines and signs as soon as midnight struck. The first three plants targeted were General Motors’ truck and truck plant in Wentzville, Missouri. Ford Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV in Wayne, Michigan; and Stellantis’ Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator plant in Toledo, Ohio. In all, 12,700 workers — 3,600 at GM, 3,300 at Ford and 5,800 at Stellantis — will go on strike at those plants.

Finn described this tactic as a “stand strike,” where the goal is to “keep companies guessing,” relying on “discipline, organization, and creativity.”

“The pre-emptive strike begins with all our local residents, from parts distribution centers to assembly plants, maintaining constant strike preparedness,” Finn said. “…Depending on what happens in the negotiations, we will announce more local residents who will be called to stand up and strike. These local residents will join those already on strike, so that our strike at each company will continue to grow over time.

While Finn said a full-scale national strike was not yet on the cards, he urged workers not to strike until they received the order from their local union leaders. Finn stressed that union members would be working under an expiring agreement, not an extended agreement.

“The walkout is our generation’s response to the strikes of the 1930s,” Fine said. “It is long past time to stand up for the working class, defend our communities, and stand up against unbridled corporate greed.”

The strike is expected to cause economic disruption for weeks. According to Anderson Economics Group, a 10-day work stoppage could result in an economic loss of more than $5 billion. It could also lead to higher car prices in the future.

GM and Stellantis could not be reached for comment, but Ford said it has submitted four proposals to the UAW since August 29. The automaker said its latest offer was “historically generous” with a 20% pay rise, cost-of-living adjustments, more paid time off and additional retirement contributions.

“Unfortunately, the counter-proposal presented by the UAW tonight showed little change from the union’s initial demands made on August 3. If the proposal is implemented, it would double Ford’s current UAW-related labor costs, which are already significantly higher than Tesla’s labor costs. Toyota “and other foreign-owned automakers in the United States that employ non-unionized labor,” a statement from Ford said.

As traditional automakers make the switch to electric vehicles, they are struggling to avoid losses. At the same time, they have to compete with the likes of Tesla, which has a non-unionized workforce.

“Ford negotiated in good faith in an effort to avoid a strike, which could have widespread consequences for our business and economy. It also impacts the 57,000 UAW-Ford workers we are trying to reward with this contract,” Ford’s statement continues. “Our hourly employees will take home approximately 60% less on average with UAW strike pay than they would have received from work. Without vehicles in production, the profit-sharing checks that UAW workers can expect to receive early next year will be wiped out.” It is also due to a major strike.

What the UAW wanted versus what the automakers offered

UAW members and supporters gather outside a Ford Michigan assembly plant ready to walk the picket line with workers. Image credit: UAW


The UAW requested a 90-day advance to the higher rate, restoring pensions and retiree health care.

Ford, GM and Stellantis proposed a four-year lead and rejected all health care proposals for pensions and retirees. GM proposed continuing what the UAW said was substandard pay for CCA and GMCH, and Stellantis for MOPAR.


The union demanded significant pay increases “to match the pay increases of the top three CEOs, keep pace with inflation, and make up for decades of failed pay.”

Ford and GM both offered a 20% raise over four and a half years, and Stellantis offered a 17.5% raise over the same time period. The UAW said these offers barely compensate for previous minimal increases coupled with higher inflation, and they do not protect against future inflation.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

The UAW demanded a COLA that would allow wages to keep up with inflation and help workers improve their quality of life. The union described the three proposals as incomplete. Ford will restore the old COLA formula, but will provide discretionary wage protection of less than $1 over the next four and a half years. The UAW said the proposals from GM and Stellantis would not provide any wage protection. Stellantis also offered lump sum payments, but the UAW said most employees would not receive those amounts.

Profit sharing

The Auto Workers Union called on companies to give workers $2 for every $1 million spent on stock buybacks, special dividends and increased regular profits.

“Again, if they have money for Wall Street, they certainly have money for the workers who make the product,” Fine said.

The Big Three have offered some version of a concessionary profit-sharing formula that the UAW says would leave more to company executives and wealthy stakeholders and less to workers. Ford’s proposal would have resulted in 21% smaller checks over the past two years, and GM’s would have resulted in a 29% smaller check than last year, according to the union.

temperature workers

“With regard to temporary employees, we have proposed to end the abuse of so-called temporary employees who are exploited for low wages for years at a time and denied benefits and full wages despite working long hours to keep these companies afloat,” Fine said. . “Temporary workers must be converted to full-time after 90 days with full pay and profit-sharing benefits.”

Ford came to the table with a proposal to convert all current temporary employees with 90 days of continuous service to full-time in progress. GM and Stellantis proposed increasing pay to $20 per hour.

Job security, work-life balance and retirees

The union demanded job security through the Worker Family Protection Program and the right to strike due to the closure of factories in other regions. All three automakers rejected those proposals, according to the UAW. Stellantis went further and proposed the right to unilaterally close and sell 18 facilities, including several assembly and powertrain plants and parts warehouses.

When it comes to work-life balance, workers want more paid time off and vacation. The UAW said the three automakers rejected most of its demands. However, they have accepted the addition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Ford also proposed two weeks of paternity leave.

The union demanded a “significant increase” in the salaries of retirees, which was rejected by the three automakers.

“Hit these companies in a way you’ve never seen before.”

On Thursday night, Fine said the UAW was “preparing to hit these companies in a way that has never been done before.

He described the negotiations as “a battle of the billionaire class against everyone else.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders came out in support of the labor movement, speaking on MSNBC on Thursday about the emotional wake-up call of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that white-collar workers were able to stay at home and work behind their computers, while many members of the working class had to go out to work and risk their lives. At the same time, the pandemic has seen an explosion in wealth increases for people at the top, Sanders said.

“No one believes that the top three people should have more wealth than the bottom half of American society, and that CEOs earn 400 times more than their employees,” Sanders said. “This is not what this country is supposed to be. This is what the UAW is telling the American people and I think that’s tremendous support for what they’re trying to do.”

This story is evolving. Check back for updates.

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