UAW Expands Strike Against GM, Ford
Written by Autobody News Staff
Published Sept. 29, 2023
The UAW's Stand Up Strike moved into a new phase Sept. 29, after President Shawn Fain announced on Facebook Live the strike would grow at noon ET to include 7,000 workers at GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Michigan and Ford’s Chicago Assembly---bringing the total number of Big Three strikers to 25,000 members at 43 facilities in 21 states.
There was no additional strike action announced at Stellantis, due to progress in bargaining, moments before the broadcast, on the 2009 cost of living allowance (COLA) the union wants reinstated, the right to not cross a picket line, and the right to strike over product commitments, plant closures and outsourcing moratoriums.
In the Facebook Live broadcast, Fain said union leaders have been working "night and day" to try to reach an agreement with automakers to end the strike that began two weeks earlier on Sept. 14, but Ford and GM have "refused to make meaningful progress at the table."
Fain emphasized negotiations have not broken down, and the UAW is still in talks with all three companies.
"I am still very hopeful that we can reach a deal that reflects the incredible sacrifices and contributions our members have made over the last decade," Fain said. "But I also know that what we win at the bargaining table depends on the power we build on the job. It’s time to use that power."
Fain reiterated the UAW's position that union workers made sacrifices in 2008 to keep afloat the automobile industry in Detroit, but now that the Big Three are doing well, they should reinstate what the unions gave up.
"We are fed up with corporate greed. We are fed up with corporate excess. We are fed up with breaking our bodies for companies that take more and more and give less and less," Fain said.
"When we win this fight, when we right the wrongs of the past 15 years, and when we set a new course for future generations, it won’t be because of any president," Fain continued. "Not the UAW president. Not the president of the United States. It will be because ordinary people did extraordinary things.
"Our solidarity is our strength. And right now, our strength is the hope of working-class people everywhere," Fain concluded. "Let’s Stand Up and win this thing. For ourselves. For our families. For our communities. For our country. And for our future.”