As of last Friday, the United Auto Workers have officially expanded their strike. They now are striking against 38 different General Motors and Stellantis facilities. The 38 different facilities are spread around 20 different states. The strike originally started much smaller, being concentrated at one plant for each of the Detroit Three’s plants. The other company in the Detroit Three is Ford. The strike has not expanded against Ford at this time.
The union gave a warning and an ultimatum to each of the companies that if by Friday they did not make some agreements to the union’s demands in negotiation, they would expand the strike to more facilities. Ford has agreed to several of the demands and thus the union has kept their word and not furthered the strike against them.
The UAW’s largest demand is a wage increase plan they have proposed.
The United Auto Workers posed a plan in which, over the next four years, wages for union workers would increase by 36%. Thus far in negotiations, the companies have each offered only about half that. The union is also calling for a 32-hour work week while receiving 40-hour pay as well as a rebirth of the old-school pension plans that the companies used to offer.
Each of the Detroit Three claims that the influx in revenue and profits that they have had over the last few years, which sparked these demands from the union, actually has to be invested into their work to transition to electric vehicle manufacturing. The companies have each made commitments to have all new vehicles manufactured be electric by certain years, so recently have been focusing most of the company’s time and energy on that and left their employees in the dust.
The striking began on September 14th, the day in which the union’s contract ended with the Detroit Three.
Approximately 13,000 employees walked out of one facility for each company. The strike caused the companies to each lay off several thousand employees as well, which has just fed more fuel to the strike’s fire.
Since the strike is still in its early days, car sales have not been significantly affected yet. They expect first a shortage, followed shortly thereafter by price increases.