UAW Strike Update: Union Expands Its Walkouts Against GM and Stellantis, But Not Ford

The UAW announced it would expand its strike Friday, after little progress with GM and Stellantis.

After a full week since workers joined picket lines at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis plants, UAW President Shawn Fain called for members to strike additional plants nationwide. Specifically, the strike will include 38 additional GM and Stellantis facilities across 20 states, including all parts distribution facilities for both automakers.

The union notably did not expand its strike against Ford. That decision suggests the two parties are closer to reaching a new contract than the UAW is with the other two of Detroit’s Big Three manufacturers.

In the past week, all three have laid off workers at plants they say have been impacted by the initial three plants where workers walked out: GM’s Wentzville, Missouri plant; Stellantis’ Toledo, Ohio assembly plant and Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant. On Wednesday of this week, GM laid off nearly all 2,000 workers at its Fairfax, Kansas plant, saying there is no work available. The company also said it cannot provide unemployment benefits “due to the specific circumstances of this situation.” Stellantis laid off 68 workers and suggested a further 300 in Indiana could lose their jobs. Ford, for its part, laid off about 600 employees at the Michigan Assembly Plant’s body contruction department and sub-assembly area (which was already striking).

While the initial wave of this UAW strike comprised about 12,700 workers on September 15, this latest development will swell that figure by approximately 5,600 people.

GM facilities being told to strike as of noon ET today include:

  • California: Rancho Cucamonga
  • Colorado: Aurora
  • Michigan: Belleville, Burton, Lansing, Pontiac, Swartz Creek, Ypsilanti
  • Mississippi: Brandon
  • Nevada: Reno
  • North Carolina: Charlotte
  • Ohio: West Chester
  • Pennsylvania: Lang Horne
  • Tennessee: Memphis
  • Texas: Roanoke
  • West Virginia: Martinsburg
  • Wisconsin: Hudson

Stellantis facilities include:

  • California: Ontario
  • Colorado: Commerce City
  • Georgia: Morrow
  • Illinois: Naperville
  • Massachusetts: Mansfield
  • Michigan: Auburn Hills, Center Line (2 facilities), Marysville, Romulus, Streetsboro, Warren (2 facilities)
  • Minnesota: Plymouth
  • New York: Tappan
  • Oregon: Beaverton
  • Texas: Carrollton
  • Virginia: Winchester

Talks continue, but how long will they go on?

As the UAW’s targeted strikes expand against two of the Big Three, it’s unclear when the parties will reach a breakthrough in negotiations. The UAW is striking for 40% increases in hourly pay over a four-year period, a 32-hour work week, a reintroduction of pension programs, an end to the tiered compensation system and cost-of-living adjustments to offset recent inflation.

To date, automakers have offered a 20% pay increase, ratification bonuses upon signing of the new contracts and improved benefits including the union’s platinum health care plan. However, those offers were not enough to sway UAW leadership to accept deals with any of the Big Three.

We’ll take another look at where things stand in the coming days. For the moment, Ford appears to be the company to watch, as it may come to an agreement with the UAW on contract terms before either GM or Stellantis.