The United Auto Workers union is expanding its strike of the Detroit automakers to 38 General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV parts distribution centers across the country, union President Shawn Fain announced during a Facebook Live event Friday.
The move, which spares Ford Motor Co. from an expansion of the strike, starts the next phase of the UAW's "stand up" strike strategy, where the union announces new locations just hours before the strike begins in an attempt to keep the Detroit Three automakers on their toes.
The union last week struck three plants — Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, GM's Wentzville Assembly in Missouri and Stellantis' Jeep plant in Toledo — in the first concurrent strike against all three in history.
Fain has been hinting at the additional plants for a few days, posting on X (formerly Twitter) various movie clips of film characters saying "tick tock" over and over. Unless "serious progress" is made, workers at more plants are likely to strike.
Even strikes at just three plants have started to affect other plants. GM idled its Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas on Wednesday, as a result of the strike in Wentzville.
Stellantis also said Wednesday that it was "immediately" laying off workers at a machining plant outside of Toledo as a result of the strike at the Jeep plant in the city. The automaker said it anticipates another estimated 300 layoffs at Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting in Indiana.
Ford laid off about 600 workers last week at its Wayne plant, where the UAW body and paint shop workers are striking.
But it appears the union and the companies are still far apart on some key issues. GM President Mark Reuss published an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday calling UAW demands "untenable." GM's offer would bring 85% of the company's represented employees to a base wage of about $82,000 a year, he wrote. UAW Vice President Mike Booth, director of the union's GM department, responded with his own piece Thursday, saying the union was fighting for all 100% of its members.
"Temps start at $16.67 an hour. Once a temp actually gets a permanent job, the starting wage is $18 an hour," Booth wrote. " I don’t know what qualifies as 'poverty wages,' but show me a Big Three executive who would work for that pay."
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