Updated Sep 29, 2023 - Economy

UAW expands strike against Ford, General Motors

UAW strike

Striking United Auto Workers march in front of the Stellantis Mopar facility on Sept. 26 in Ontario, California. Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The United Auto Workers union is widening its historic strike against Ford and General Motors, UAW president Shawn Fain announced Friday.

Driving the news: The decision comes after ongoing contract negotiations didn't result in meaningful progress with the two automakers this week, Fain said.

  • Fain announced two additional strike locations: a GM factory plant in Lansing, Michigan, and a Ford factory in Chicago, affecting 7,000 workers.
  • The union did not expand its strike against Stellantis, saying the company that makes Jeep and Ram vehicles had made a substantial offer to the union, showing good progress toward a deal.

What they're saying: "Stellantis has been intensely working with the UAW to find solutions to the issues that are of most concern to our employees while ensuring the Company can remain competitive given the market's fierce competition," Stellantis said in a statement Friday.

  • "We have made progress in our discussions, but gaps remain. We are committed to continue working through these issues in an expeditious manner to reach a fair and responsible agreement that gets everyone back to work as soon as possible."

Catch up quick: It's been two weeks since the UAW launched its unprecedented strike.

  • The strike initially targeted one assembly plant from each of the automakers.
  • Last week, the union expanded the strike to target 38 parts distribution centers operated by GM and Stellantis. Fain said the union had made progress in talks with Ford, so UAW was holding off on expanding the strike at its facilities.
  • The additional walkouts Fain announced Friday mean that 25,000 workers, or 17% of UAW members at the Big Three, are currently on strike.

State of play: The UAW is asking for a 36% pay increase and a return to traditional pensions and retiree health care.

  • Company leaders at GM and Stellantis have grown frustrated with what they see as a lack of participation from Fain and delays in receiving counterproposals from UAW, CNBC reported.
  • Earlier this week, President Biden joined striking UAW workers on the picket line and expressed his support for their cause.

Go deeper: UAW strike scrambles political allegiances

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from Stellantis.

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