YPSILANTI, Mich. — Negotiations between the Detroit Three and the United Auto Workers continue on day nine of a targeted plant strike — one day after the union sent all workers at General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV parts plants nationwide to picket lines.
UAW President Shawn Fain on Friday expanded the union's strike, adding 38 GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers. The move added 5,600 workers at those facilities, which span 20 states, to the 12,700 other Detroit Three workers who remain on strike at three assembly plants run by GM, Stellantis and Ford Motor Co. The union spared Ford in adding more plants to the strike since it made more progress in talks with the Dearborn automaker.
The union is pushing for significant wage increases, an end to a tiered-wage scale, cost-of-living increases and other demands.
One of the plants added to the target list is GM's processing center in Ypsilanti, where 161 people work. On Saturday, a handful of employees from first shift sat in the sun beside a red tent on their first full day of striking.
The 413,00-square-foot center on Tyler Road in Ypsilanti processes an estimated 6.6 million parts each month, according to GM.
"We just passed Wendy's on the way here with a sign to start at $16.50 an hour, making the same amount we're making and that's unacceptable, especially as inflation is going up daily," said Latrice Dukes, a processing technician who started 60 days ago. "How is it we are making GM cars we can't even afford?"
The UAW Local 174 members showed off bruises on their arms from this past week of work. They said metal racks, parts and box slicers aren't always avoidable.
"Any progress is good progress," Dukes said. "We have to do what right for our family's sake."
In Center Line, about three dozen employees at Stellantis' Mopar Parts Distribution Center exchanged picket shifts at noon Saturday, some saying they needed a break from the sun.
Latoya Franklin has been a UAW member for 23 years. She started in New Boston in 2000, then moved to Center Line in 2005 and has been packaging parts at the large facility ever since. She loves her job and said this is the first time she joined the picket line.
©2023 www.detroitnews.com. Visit at detroitnews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.