UAW to strike at three Ford, GM, Stellantis auto plants

  • The United Auto Workers union plans to strike three U.S. assembly plants — General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellandis — UAW President Shawn Fine announced Thursday night.
  • The facilities include 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 Stellandis’ Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.
  • Targeted strike plans are ongoing if the union and automakers fail to reach an agreement by the 11:59 p.m. deadline.

Members of the United Auto Workers rally and practice picket near the Stellandis plant in Detroit on August 23, 2023.

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT – UAW President Shawn Fine announced Thursday night that the United Auto Workers union plans to strike three U.S. assembly plants: General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Stellandis.

The strikes continue as the union and automakers fail to reach an agreement by the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline. People involved in the discussions told CNBC Thursday night was far from over and strikes were “highly likely.” Fein said Wednesday that strikes are still “possible.”

The facilities include 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 Stellandis’ Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator plant in Toledo, Ohio. As for Ford, he said only paint workers would go on strike.

Select plants produce vehicles that are more profitable for automakers. About 12,700 workers — 5,800 at Stellantis, 3,600 at GM and 3,300 at Ford — will be on strike at the plants in total, the union said. The UAW represents about 146,000 workers across Ford, GM and Stellantis.

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Final announced Wednesday night as part of a series of targeted strike plans chosen by the plants union, which, contrary to tradition, held simultaneous talks with all three automakers and was reluctant to compromise much on the union’s demands.

UAW President Shawn Fine announced the strike plans in a Facebook Live address on September 14, 2023.

Facebook Live Screenshot

“For the first time in our history, we will hit all three ‘Big Three’ at once,” Fine said in a live stream Thursday night after 10 p.m. Facebook and YouTube. “We are using a new strategy, the ‘stand-up’ strike

Fine referred to the union’s plans as a “stand-to-stop strike,” a nod to the UAW’s historic “sit-down” strikes in the 1930s.

The union’s key proposals include a 40% hourly wage increase, a reduced 32-hour work week, a return to traditional pensions, elimination of compensation tiers and a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). On the table, including enhanced retiree benefits and enhanced vacation and family leave benefits.

Ford, In a statement On Thursday night, the UAW presented its “first substantive counterproposal” to the company’s four offers, but said it “showed little movement from the union’s initial demands.”

“If implemented, this proposal would more than double Ford’s current UAW-related labor costs, which already exceed the labor costs of Tesla, Toyota and other foreign-owned automakers in the United States,” Ford said. “Unless the union agrees to its unsustainable conditions, it plans a strike at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.”

Automakers have made record proposals that address some, but not all, of the UAW’s ambitious demands. Specifically, companies have offered around 20% wage increases, COLA, modified profit-sharing bonuses; And improved vacation and family leave improvements the union found inadequate.

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Targeted strikes usually focus on key plants, and then other plants may shut down production due to lack of parts. They’re not unprecedented, but the way Fein plans to conduct the strikes is unusual. Initiating targeted strikes at selected plants and increasing the number of strikes based on the status of negotiations. The selection of assembly plants for such strikes is also unique.

This is a growing story. Check back for more details.

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