UNITED STATES NEWS

Auto workers are expanding their strike to 38 locations in 20 states, targeting Stellantis and GM

Sep 22, 2023, 4:50 AM

The United Auto Workers union expanded its strike against major carmakers Friday, walking out of 38 General Motors and Stellantis parts-distribution centers in 20 states.

Ford was spared additional strikes because the company has met some of the union’s demands during negotiations over the past week, UAW President Shawn Fain said during an online presentation to union members.

“We’ve made some real progress at Ford,” Fain said. “We still have serious issues to work through, but we do want to recognize that Ford is showing that they are serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it’s a different story.”

GM and Stellantis, he said, have rejected the union’s proposals for cost-of-living increases, profit sharing and job security, and “are going to need some serious pushing.”

Instead of targeting more production plants Friday, the UAW went after centers that distribute parts to car dealer service departments. That could quickly drag consumers into the middle of the fight, if dealers run short of parts.

The UAW said the new walkouts will affect 5,600 workers on top of the nearly 13,000 who began strikes last week at three Ford, GM and Stellantis assembly plants. Those original strikes will continue, the union said.

The UAW is continuing to avoid targeting plants that make Detroit’s bestsellers, such as the Ford F-150 and Stellantis’ Ram pickups, which represent outsize shares of the companies’ revenue and profit. That represents a union strategy to gradually increase the pain of a strike on the automakers. However, the industry’s supply chain is so integrated that even hitting lower-profile plants cuts into production.

Deutsche Bank analysts estimated Friday that GM, Ford and Stellantis have lost production of more than 16,000 vehicles since the strike started last week at a Ford assembly plant near Detroit, a GM factory in Wentzville, Missouri, and a Jeep plant run by Stellantis in Toledo, Ohio. Anderson Economic Group, a consulting firm in Michigan that tracks the industry, estimated Friday that the three big automakers have suffered economic losses of more than $1.6 billion.

The carmakers and some of their suppliers have laid off about 6,000 workers in moves they say are related to the strike. GM shut down a factory in Kansas that relies on parts stamped at the Wentzville plant.

Still, the impact is not yet being felt on car lots around the country — it will probably take a few weeks before the strike causes a significant shortage of new vehicles, according to analysts. Prices could rise sooner, however, if the prospect of a prolonged strike triggers panic buying.

In bargaining, the union is pointing to the carmakers’ huge recent profits as it seeks wage increases of about 36% over four years. The companies have offered a little over half that amount. The UAW has other demands, including a 32-hour work week for 40 hours of pay and a restoration of traditional pension plans for newer workers.

The companies say they can’t afford to meet the union’s demands because they need to invest profits in a costly transition from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles.

Fain said that Ford has agreed to some union proposals, including the restoration of cost-of-living wage increases that were dropped several years ago, better profit-sharing and improved job security.

A Ford spokesman, Daniel Barbossa, said the company “is working diligently with the UAW to reach a deal that rewards our workforce and enables Ford to invest in a vibrant and growing future.”

“Although we are making progress in some areas, we still have significant gaps to close on the key economic issues,” he said.

In response to repeated inquires, GM and Stellantis said Friday they would comment soon.

Rather than bargain with one company and set a pattern for contracts at the other two, the UAW has been negotiating simultaneously with all three Detroit giants. Targeting the parts-distributions centers could inflict quick pain on GM and Stellantis, said Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.

“The UAW is going for the gut punch as this strike gets a lot nastier,” Ives said. He called it “a very strategic and risky poker move by the UAW.”

Even with Friday’s expansion, the strikes involve only a little over 10% of the UAW’s 146,000 members. That will make the union’s $825 million strike fund last longer, as most members will keep working under the expired contract and pay into the fund. However, the longer the strike lasts, the greater the risk of dissension between workers who will keep collecting full paychecks and those getting $500 a week from the union.

Fain believes that most of the public is on the union’s side. He invited anyone who supports the union — “all the way up to the president of the United States” — to join strikers on the picket lines.

United States News

Gov. Greg Abbott receives a briefing for Hurricane Beryl from local elected officials Sunday, July ...

Associated Press

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demands answers as customers remain without power after Beryl

DALLAS (AP) — With around 350,000 homes and businesses still without power in the Houston area almost a week after Hurricane Beryl hit Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said he’s demanding an investigation into the response of the utility that serves the area as well as answers about its preparations for upcoming storms. “Power […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Acclaimed video artist Bill Viola dies at 73, created landmark `Tristan und Isolde’ production

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bill Viola, a video artist who combined with director Peter Sellars on a groundbreaking production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” originally seen in Los Angeles, Paris and New York, has died at age 73. Viola died Friday at his home in Long Beach of Alzheimer’s disease, his website announced. What […]

2 hours ago

People reacting to near assassination attempt of Donald Trump at rally...

Associated Press

Governor says man killed at Trump rally was former fire chief who ‘died a hero’

A former fire chief attending the rally with family was killed, as was the gunman. Two other people were also critically wounded.

5 hours ago

Donald Trump being helped off rally stage...

Associated Press

Law enforcement: Bomb-making materials found in vehicle and home of Trump rally shooting suspect

Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that bomb-making materials were found inside the vehicle of the man suspected in the Trump rally shooting. There were also bomb-making materials found at his home.

7 hours ago

President Joe Biden arrives on Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, July 13, 202...

Associated Press

Biden appeals for ‘unity’ after attempted Trump assassination, orders security review

President Joe Biden on Sunday appealed for the country to “unite as one nation” after the attempted assassination of Donald Trump.

7 hours ago

FILE - President Ronald Reagan waves and then looks up before being shoved into the President's lim...

Associated Press

Reagan survived an assassination attempt and his response changed the trajectory of his presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The would-be assassin got off six shots in 1.7 seconds, nearly taking the life of a president and changing the trajectory of a presidency. It happened on a dreary March afternoon in 1981. President Ronald Reagan was leaving the Washington Hilton hotel after giving a speech to a union group when John […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Auto workers are expanding their strike to 38 locations in 20 states, targeting Stellantis and GM