DETROIT, Mich. (WANE/AP) UAW President Shawn Fain announced in a Facebook Live session Friday morning that the strike against the Big 3 of GM, Stellantis, and Ford will expand to 38 plants in 20 states as part of his Stand Up strikes strategy.
Fort Wayne’s GM Assembly plant is not one of the facilities that will be joining the picket line. The announcement got underway at 10 a.m. with the expanded walkout to start at noon. Fain began the livestream by saying about the Big 3 of GM, Ford and Stellantis, ‘We’re going to wreck their economy.”
Fain said demands were given to the Big 3 two months ago, yet they waited a month before getting serious. Negotiators have made progress with Ford, but, “Stellantis and GM are going to need some serious pushing.”
The expanded strike is taking aim at GM and Stellantis.
Fort Wayne Assembly, where full-size Chevrolet and GMC pickups are made employs some 4,000 UAW members, represented by Local 2209 work at the plant. Locally, the UAW also represents workers at a GM engine plant in Defiance, Ohio and a stamping plant in Marion, Indiana.
The UAW began the strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis on September 15 when workers from plants near St. Louis, outside Detroit and in Toledo, Ohio, walked out.
The union is demanding higher wages, shorter work weeks, union representation for battery plant workers and better retirement benefits, including restored pensions for new hires.
The strike has already forced layoffs at plants operated by GM and Stellantis. Ford, GM, and Stellantis say they can’t afford to meet the UAW’s demands because they must invest those profits to help them make the transition to electric vehicles.
So today, at noon Eastern time, all of the parts distribution facilities of General Motors and Stellantis will Stand Up and Strike. We will strike 38 locations across 20 states, across all 9 regions of the UAW.
At General Motors, we call on the CCAs at Pontiac, Willow Run, Ypsilanti, Davison Road, Flint, Lansing, Cincinnati, Denver, Hudson (Wisconsin), Chicago, Reno, Rancho Cucamonga, Fort Worth, Martinsburg, Jackson, Charlotte, Memphis, and Philadelphia to Stand Up and go on strike.
At Stellantis, we call on the parts distribution centers at Marysville, Centerline Packaging, Centerline Warehouse, Sherwood, Warren Parts, Quality Engineering Center, Romulus, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta, Winchester, Orlando, Dallas, New York, and Boston to Stand Up and go on strike.
The plants that are already on strike will remain on strike, Local 2250 at GM Wentzville, Local 900 at Ford Michigan Assembly, and Local 12 at Stellantis Toledo Assembly. We invite and encourage everyone who supports our cause to join us on the picket line, from our friends and families up to the President of the United States.Shawn Fain, UAW President
Tensions were high in Detroit leading up to Fain’s scheduled announcement.
The Detroit News reported Thursday that a spokesman for Fain wrote on a private group chat on X, formerly Twitter, that union negotiators aimed to inflict “recurring reputations damage and operational chaos” on the carmakers, and “if we can keep them wounded for months they don’t know what to do.”
Ford and GM seized on the messages as a sign of bad faith by the UAW.
“It’s now clear that the UAW leadership has always intended to cause months-long disruption, regardless of the harm it causes to its members and their communities,” GM said in a statement.
Ford spokesman Mark Truby called the messages “disappointing, to say the least, given what is at stake for our employees, the companies and this region.”
The UAW spokesman, Jonah Furman, did not confirm writing the messages, which were linked to the same picture as his X account, and called them “private messages” that “you shouldn’t have,” the newspaper reported.