The United Auto Workers (UAW) union on Friday expanded its strikes against Detroit automakers General Motors and Chrysler, a subsidiary of Stellantis, but limited the strike at Ford due to progress in talks.
The auto workers union began strikes at 38 GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers across the United States midday Friday, expanding its unprecedented simultaneous strikes that began with one assembly plant in each of the “Detroit Three.”
The new facilities added approximately 5,600 workers to the 12,700 already on strike.
UAW President Shawn Fain said in a Facebook live stream viewed by more than 50,000 people and nearly 10,000 more on YouTube that the targeting of distribution centers would make the strike a national event.
Fain addressed union members with messages like “record profits, record wages,” wearing a military-style shirt and carrying signs behind him.
The announcement was carefully managed by the union, leaving automakers in the dark about which facilities might come next. Many analysts assumed that the next targets would be the plants that make the companies’ most profitable vehicles.
Instead, Fain said the decision to extend the strike would impact consumers looking for replacement parts.
“We will be everywhere, from California to Massachusetts, from Oregon to Florida.” “Stellantis and GM in particular will need serious stimulus,” he said.
Fain said there are still things outstanding with Ford, but “we want to recognize that Ford is showing that it is serious about reaching an agreement.”
He also threatened further action at Stellantis’ critical parts plants in Kokomo, Indiana. The company has four factories in Kokomo that produce engines and transmissions used across the automaker’s entire product lineup.
Stellantis has expressed a desire to consolidate and close some of its parts distribution centers.
Fain invited Joe Biden to go to the picket line along with other politicians, friends and family. The president has been vocal about the union’s demands for better wages and benefits. Former President Donald Trump, who is seeking a new term, will be in Michigan next week to talk to auto workers about the strike.