The United Auto Workers (UAW) has initiated a strike at plants of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. This marks the first time the union has simultaneously taken on the three major unionized car manufacturers in the United States.
The primary demand revolves around improvements in wages and workplace safety conditions for the workers.
After failing to reach an agreement by the deadline to sign a new contract, workers began walking out on Friday. Affected were Ford’s plant in Michigan, General Motors’ facility in Missouri, and Stellantis NV’s location in Toledo, Ohio.
UAW Strikes Against General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis
“Tonight, for the first time in our history, we’re taking on the big three all at once,” stated Shawn Fain, UAW’s president. He added that, for now, the union would avoid broader company-wide strikes, but all options remain on the table if new contracts aren’t finalized.
This strike comes after the union put forth demands related to wages, benefits, and labor protection for automotive industry workers. The UAW is aiming to recover benefits lost after a challenging decade when the companies faced severe economic hardships and were on the brink of bankruptcy.
The UAW’s actions occur in a backdrop of tight labor markets, high inflation, and growing recession fears.
Stellantis released a statement saying they would adopt contingency measures to protect their North American operations. The company stated, “We are extremely disappointed with the UAW leadership’s refusal to engage responsibly to reach a fair agreement.”
Meanwhile, General Motors expressed its disappointment with the union’s actions, despite the “unprecedented economic package” they offered, which included significant wage hikes and production commitments.
Lastly, Ford mentioned that the union’s latest counterproposal showed little progress from their initial demands.
With information from CBS News