The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has expanded its strike to include 38 more facilities owned by General Motors (GM) and Stellantis, affecting 20 states across the United States. This escalation follows the strike that began on September 14 and initially targeted GM, Ford, and Stellantis, marking the first time the UAW has staged walkouts at all three of the Big Three automakers simultaneously.
UAW President Shawn Fain praised Ford for its commitment to reaching a deal, singling out Ford as the only one of the three automakers to show seriousness in negotiations. Ford is currently facing a strike at one of its factories in Michigan.
The UAW’s “stand up” strike strategy involves announcing the locations of walkouts just hours before they begin. This approach allows some plants to continue operating while targeting others for shutdown, providing the union with flexibility to expand or limit the strike based on negotiations. It also eases the financial burden on the union’s strike funds, potentially allowing the strike to last longer than expected.
The expansion of the strike to include GM and Stellantis facilities may be an attempt by the UAW to gain leverage in negotiations. By keeping Ford’s production going longer than its rivals, the UAW could position Ford to capture market share if the strike leads to supply shortages. GM and Stellantis dealers could face undersupply, while Ford’s dealers might still have new cars in stock.
The strike centers around various demands, including reinstating cost-of-living adjustments in worker contracts, which have been eroded by rising inflation.