UAW strike hits Ford, GM, Stellantis plants

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Members of the United Auto Workers union hold a rally and practice picket near a Stellantis plant in Detroit,Aug 23, 2023.

Michael Wayland/ CNBC

DETROIT– Thousands of members of the United Auto Workers went on strike at 3 U.S. assembly plants of General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis, after the union and the car manufacturers stopped working to reach an offer on a brand-new labor agreement Thursday night.

“The UAW Stand Up Strike begins at all three of the Big Three,” the union said in a post on X, the website previously referred to as Twitter, simply after midnight Friday.

The centers 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 Wrangler and Gladiator plant in Toledo,Ohio For Ford, UAW President Shawn Fain stated just employees in paint and last assembly will be on strike.

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

The picked plants produce extremely rewarding lorries for the car manufacturers that mainly continue to remain in high-demand. About 12,700 employees– 5,800 at Stellantis, 3,600 at GM and 3,300 at Ford– will be on strike at the plants in overall, the union stated. The UAW represents about 146,000 employees throughout Ford, GM and Stellantis.

UAW President Shawn Fain, center, speak with press reporters as union members strike outside a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan,Sept 15, 2023.

CNBC|Michael Wayland

“If they come to the pump and they take care of their workers, we’ll be back to work,” Fain stated early Friday, describing the car manufacturers. “But if they don’t, we’ll keep amping it up.”

The union picked the plants as part of targeted strike strategies at first revealed Wednesday night by Fain, who has actually unconventionally been working out with all 3 car manufacturers simultaneously and has actually hesitated to jeopardize much on the union’s needs.

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“For the first time in our history, we will strike all three of the ‘Big Three’ at once,” Fain stated simply after 10 p.m. Thursday in live remarks streamed on Facebook and YouTube. “We are using a new strategy, the ‘stand-up’ strike. We will call on select facilities, locals or units to stand up and go on strike.”

Fain has actually described the union’s strategies as a “stand-up strike,” a nod to historical “sit-down” strikes by the UAW in the 1930 s.

Key propositions from the union have actually consisted of 40% per hour pay boosts, a lowered 32- hour work week, a shift back to standard pensions, the removal of payment tiers and a repair of cost-of-living changes (SODA), to name a few products on the table consisting of improved retired person advantages and improved getaway and household leave advantages.

By late Thursday, it was clear there would not be an offer, even as President Joe Biden got included. The White House stated Biden, who takes pride in his blue collar background and assistance for arranged labor, talked with Fain and the leaders of the Detroit car manufacturers.

Ford, in a declaration Thursday night, stated the UAW provided its “first substantive counterproposal” to 4 of the business’s deals, however it “showed little movement from the union’s initial demands.”

“If implemented, the 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,” Ford stated. “The union made clear that unless we agreed to its unsustainable terms, it plans a work stoppage at 11:59 p.m. eastern.”

The car manufacturers have actually made record propositions that resolve a few of the UAW’s enthusiastic needs however not all of them. Specifically, the business have actually used wage boosts of approximately 20%, SODA, modified profit-sharing perks; and improved getaway and household leave improvements that the union has actually discovered insufficient.

Targeted strikes normally concentrate on essential plants that can then trigger other plants to stop production due to an absence of parts. They are not unmatched, however the method Fain prepares to carry out the work blockages is not common. They consist of starting targeted strikes at choose plants and after that possibly increasing the variety of strikes based upon the status of the settlements. Selecting assembly plants for such strikes is likewise special.