91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Auto workers stop expanding strikes against Detroit Three after GM makes battery plant concession

UAW President Shawn Fain stands looking into the camera wearing a short sleaved shirt with a black and white camoflage print and the UAW logo on his chest during a livestreamed broadcast on YouTube.
UAW on YouTube
Screenshot of UAW President Shawn Fain during the union's online update to members Friday.

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union has decided not to expand its strikes against Detroit's three automakers after General Motors made a breakthrough concession on unionizing electric vehicle battery plants.

Union President Shawn Fain told workers in a video appearance Friday that additional plants could be added later. The delay came shortly after GM agreed to bring electric vehicle battery plants into the UAW's national contract, essentially assuring that they will be unionized.

He said GM made the change after the union threatened to strike at a GM plant in Arlington, Texas, which makes highly profitable large SUVs.

“Today, under the threat of a major financial hit, they leapfrogged the pack in terms of a 'just transition' from combustion engines to electric vehicles," he said. “Our strike is working, but we’re not there yet.”

Fain said GM's move will change the future of the union and the auto industry.

"[The Detroit Three's] plan was to drawn down engine and transmission plants and permanently replace them with low-wage battery jobs," Fain said. "We have a different plan, and that plan is winning at GM, and we expect it to win at Ford and Stellantis as well."

The Union has been on strike against the Detroit Three automakers since September 14. Since then, around 25,000 employees across over 40 plants have walked off the job.

A spokesperson for GM said the automaker's goal remains to "reach an agreement that rewards our employees and allows GM to be successful into the future."

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
George Weykamp is a senior at the University of Michigan studying business law and history. He was the 2022 University Editor at The Michigan Daily where he oversaw coverage of the first firing of a University President in over a century as well as a historic sexual misconduct settlement.
Related Content