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United Auto Workers Launch Strike Against Ford, GM, and Stellantis

The United Auto Workers (UAW) failed to reach a new labor agreement with Detroit’s Big Three automakers before their contract expired, leading to one of the largest strikes in the U.S. in years. The UAW announced a stand-up strike strategy, with employees at select Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis factories walking off the job. During the strike, employees will receive around $500 per week from the UAW’s strike fund, which currently sits at $825 million.

UAW President Shawn Fain stated that all three of the Big Three automakers would be struck simultaneously, marking the first time in history. The strike immediately involved three factories: a GM assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan; and a Stellantis assembly complex in Toledo, Ohio. In total, approximately 12,700 employees were participating.

Fain confirmed that factories not yet called to join the strike would continue working under an expired agreement. He mentioned that there might not be any bargaining on Friday but that talks could resume on Saturday. Workers gathered outside the Ford plant in Wayne before the midnight deadline, and a mass rally was scheduled for downtown Detroit on Friday afternoon.

The UAW’s demands include a 36% pay increase over a four-year contract, pension benefits for all employees, limited use of temporary workers, more paid time off, including a four-day workweek, and stronger job protections, such as the right to strike over plant closings. Talks reached an impasse on Thursday, with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis stating that they had made multiple offers in recent weeks to the UAW.

Despite the automakers’ refusal to fulfill all of the UAW’s demands, they claim to have made reasonable counteroffers and are open to further negotiation. They argue that they face intense competition from Tesla and foreign car manufacturers and need to keep costs and car prices low, particularly in the growing electric vehicle market. Analysts warn that if the strike lasts over three to four weeks, it could have a negative impact on GM and Ford’s EV strategy.

The strike could lead to higher car prices and result in an estimated $5.6 billion in economic losses for the automakers. It may also reduce the country’s GDP by up to 0.3%, according to Oxford Economics.

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