The strike led by the United Auto Workers (UAW) against the Detroit Three automakers is entering its third day with no apparent end in sight. Approximately 12,700 UAW workers are participating in the coordinated labor action, targeting three U.S. assembly plants that belong to General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis.
Negotiators from the UAW and Ford Motor reported “reasonably productive discussions” on Saturday, while Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, stated that it had improved its contract offer. However, despite these developments, the strike remains ongoing.
The main bargaining talks with Stellantis are scheduled to resume on Monday, with subcommittee negotiations set to take place at General Motors on Sunday. Furthermore, UAW President Shawn Fain is expected to appear on two national news programs on Sunday, highlighting the significance of the labor action.
Both GM and Ford have proposed raises of 20% over a four-and-a-half-year contract term, including an immediate 10% increase, which aligns with Stellantis’ offer. However, the UAW is demanding a 40% wage hike through 2027, including an immediate 20% boost. This significant difference in demands has been one of the major obstacles to reaching an agreement.
Stellantis initially proposed resuming operations at an assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. However, the UAW rejected this proposal, claiming that the offer was contingent on reaching an agreement before the contract expiration. The company now expresses willingness to negotiate about the plant’s future, but the UAW criticized Stellantis for using the workers as bargaining chips.
The strikes have caused production stoppages at three plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri, impacting the manufacturing of popular models such as the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, and Chevrolet Colorado. Additionally, Ford has indefinitely laid off 600 workers at a Michigan plant due to the strike’s impact, while GM warned 2,000 workers at a Kansas car plant that their factory may also be shut down temporarily due to a lack of parts caused by the strike.
In addition to higher wages, the UAW is advocating for shorter work weeks, the restoration of defined benefits pensions, and stronger job security as automakers transition to electric vehicles.