The United Auto Workers union on Friday expanded its strike of the Detroit automakers to 38 General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV parts distribution centers across the country.
Some 5,600 workers at those facilities, which span 20 states, walked off the job at noon, joining about 12,700 other Detroit Three workers who remain on strike at three assembly plants run by GM, Stellantis and Ford Motor Co.
The move, which spares Ford 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 walkouts begin 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, Ohio — in the first concurrent strike against all three in history.
“This will impact these two companies’ repairs operations," UAW President Shawn Fain said during a Facebook Live event Friday morning announcing the expanded strike. "And our message to the consumer is simple: the way to fix the frustrating customer experience is for the companies to end price gouging. Invest these record profits into stable jobs and sustainable wages and benefits. It’s that simple."
"This expansion will also take our fight nationwide. We will be everywhere, from California to Massachusetts, from Oregon to Florida," he added. "And we will keep going, keep organizing, and keep expanding the Stand-Up Strike as necessary. Across the country, people are gonna know that the UAW is ready to stand up for our communities, and ready to stand up against corporate greed.”
GM and Stellantis both slammed the union's latest action.
"Today's strike escalation by the UAW's top leadership is unnecessary. The decision to strike an additional 18 of our facilities, affecting more than 3,000 team members plus their families and communities, adds validity to the blueprint identified in last night's leaked texts — that the UAW leadership is manipulating the bargaining process for their own personal agendas," GM said in a statement provided by spokesperson David Barnas.
The company says its officials have "contingency plans for various scenarios and are prepared to do what is best for our business, our customers, and our dealers."
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