As the clock ticked down to a critical contract deadline, United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain delivered a momentous announcement. The UAW, representing 146,000 U.S. auto workers, is embarking on an unprecedented strike targeting Stellantis alongside industry giants Ford and General Motors (GM). Fain’s Livestream address outlined the high-stakes battle for the plant workers across the nation and the pivotal moment the automotive industry faces.
Fain detailed a strategic “stand-up strike” approach should negotiations falter, mobilizing union locals at select facilities.
- Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex – Toledo, Ohio – Jeep® Wrangler, Jeep Wrangler 4xe, and Jeep Gladiator
- GM Wentzville Assembly Plant – Wentzville, Missouri – Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Express, and GMC Savana
- Ford Michigan Assembly Plant – Wayne, Michigan – Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco
Central to the negotiations is the seismic shift from conventional combustion engines to electric vehicles, making the 2023 talks a make-or-break opportunity for the UAW to secure higher wages and enhanced benefits in the emerging landscape.
Fain stressed the dynamic nature of the strike plan, underscoring the potential expansion to a full-scale work stoppage across all three companies if deemed necessary. “This strategy will keep the companies guessing,” he affirmed, emphasizing the gravity of the situation.
In response to the UAW’s decision to strike, Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson stated, “We are extremely disappointed by the UAW leadership’s refusal to engage in a responsible manner to reach a fair agreement in the best interest of our employees, their families, and our customers.” Tinson went on to assert, “We immediately put the Company in contingency mode and will take all the appropriate structural decisions to protect our North American operations and the Company.”
The UAW’s demands transcend mere wage hikes, encompassing the restoration of defined benefit pensions, 32-hour workweeks, cost-of-living adjustments, job security guarantees, and an end to the practice of employing temporary workers.