UAW expands strike to 38 plants across 20 states

The United Auto Workers union is increasing pressure on Detroit’s Big Three by expanding its autoworkers’ strike to even more facilities.

UAW President Shawn Fain announced Friday that the union is encouraging 38 parts and distribution centers for General Motors and Stellantis to join the strike. 

“At noon Eastern today, all parts distribution centers at General Motors and Stellantis will be on strike,” Fain said during a Friday press conference. “This will impact these two companies’ repairs operations, and our message to the consumer is simple: The way to fix the frustrating customer experience is for these companies to end price gouging.”

The latest strike expansion is expected to impact some 5,600 additional workers at facilities across 20 states and all nine regions represented by the UAW. Until Friday, the strike had been limited to about 13,000 workers at a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, a GM factory in Wentzville, Missouri, and a Stellantis plant in Toledo, Ohio.

The UAW had given automakers until Friday to make significant progress on a new labor contract. While Fain said negotiators had made some progress with Ford,  the other two manufacturers have shot down the union’s proposals. 

“To be clear, we’re not done at Ford,” Fain said. “We still have serious issues to work through, but we do want to recognize that Ford is showing that they’re serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it’s a different story.” 

On Friday, President Joe Biden said in a message on X that he would travel to picket lines on Tuesday to stand in solidarity with workers.

“It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs,” he wrote.

The UAW is demanding double-digit pay increases for all workers, the elimination of its tiered wage system, and more paid time off, among other things. Some striking workers say they’re ready to return to their jobs, but only if their demands are met.  

“We’re ready to go back to work whenever we can get a fair deal,” said Tiffanie Simmons of UAW Local 900 in Wayne, Michigan. “Nobody wanted to do this, nobody wanted to strike, but this is something that we felt we had to do.”