UAW expands strike to Stellantis and GM parts distribution centers nationwide; UAW leader says progress being made with Ford
UAW workers in 20 states will be headed to the picket lines this afternoon, after the union’s president announced a significant expansion of its targeted strike against Detroit automakers.
UAW President Shawn Fain announced the expansion during a live online broadcast Friday morning, and called on workers at 38 parts distribution centers at Stellantis and GM to go out on strike at noon.
The list includes 13 facilities in Michigan. Workers who have been on strike at three facilities since last week will remain on strike, Fain said. That includes workers at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.
In a break from tradition, the union has decided to strike all three Detroit carmakers at once, though workers have not walked out of all facilities at once.
The strategy — which the union has dubbed a “stand up strike” — is designed to allow the UAW to ratchet up its pressure on the companies incrementally rather than going all out at once, Fain said.
“Our stand up strike strategy is designed to do one thing: Win record contracts after years of record profits,” Fain told workers during the online announcement, which streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.
“We’re focused on moving the companies at the bargaining table,” Fain said. “That means maintaining our flexibility and our leverage to escalate as we need to.”
The strike began last week at three facilities — one for each of the Detroit carmakers. But the expansion announced Friday targets only two: GM and Stellantis. Fain said the decision to leave Ford out of the latest round of strike locations reflects what’s been happening at the bargaining table.
“This last week we’ve made some real progress at Ford,” Fain said.
But he said as talks progress, all options are still on the table for the union.
“We can and will go all out if our national leadership decides the companies aren’t willing to move,” Fain said. “Right now we think we can get there. Stellantis and GM in particular are going to need some serious pushing.”
Despite the expansion in the strike, Fain told workers the union has achieved significant victories so far in negotiations with each of the automakers.
In particular, he said both GM and Ford have agreed to offer workers at their parts subsidiaries the same wage as workers at the regular production facilities. For Ford, that would include workers at Rawsonville Components and Sterling Axle. At GM, it includes the workers at the Customer Care and Aftersales (CCA) facilities and GM Components Holdings (GMCH). Workers at each of those plants had been paid a lower tier of wages under the contracts signed with the carmakers in 2019.
On Friday, Fain told workers the carmakers had agreed to eliminate those tiers.
“We have won a serious victory at CCA and GMCH,” Fain said of the talks with GM. “And we have killed those wage tiers.”
Despite that claim of victory, Fain said the CCA workers would still be called out on strike Friday. The announcement does not include workers at GMCH.
GM and Stellantis said they had made competitive offers to the union, and denounced the strike expansion.
"Today’s strike escalation by the UAW’s top leadership is unnecessary," GM said in a statement. "The UAW leadership is manipulating the bargaining process for their own personal agendas."
GM said it had presented the union with five separate proposals. "We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible."
A statement from Stellantis on Friday said its most recent offer "includes all our current full-time hourly employees earning between $80,000 and $96,000 a year by the end of the contract (a 21.4% compounded increase)," but the union hadn't responded.
"We look forward to the UAW leadership’s productive engagement so that we can bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that will protect the competitiveness of our company and our ability to continue providing good jobs," the Stellantis statement said.
The additional UAW strike locations for Michigan announced Friday include:
- Davison Road Processing Center (Burton)
- Flint Processing Center (Swartz Creek)
- Lansing Redistribution Center (Lansing)
- Pontiac Redistribution Center (Pontiac)
- Willow Run Redistribution Center #58 (Belleville)
- Ypsilanti #87 Processing Center (Ypsilanti)
- Sherwood (Warren)
- Warren Parts (Warren)
- Centerline Packaging (Centerline)
- Centerline Warehouse (Centerline)
- Marysville (Marysville)
- QEC (Auburn Hills)
- Romulus (Romulus)