United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain has called for an additional 7,000 workers to go on strike as the union continues its historic strike against the Big Three carmakers. The walkouts will be expanded to a General Motors plant in Lansing, Michigan, and a Ford plant in Chicago. Fain stated that Ford and GM have refused to make meaningful progress at the negotiation table. This brings the total number of striking autoworkers to 25,000, or 17% of the UAW’s approximately 146,000 members. The strike demands include a 36% pay increase, annual cost-of-living adjustments, pension benefits for all employees, greater job security, restrictions on temporary workers, and a four-day workweek. The automakers argue that the demands would make it difficult to compete with other car manufacturers.
The UAW strike, known as the “stand-up strike,” began on September 15 when almost 13,000 autoworkers halted work at Big Three assembly plants in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. This marks the first UAW strike since auto workers walked out on GM in 2019. UAW President Fain expressed hope for a deal that reflects the sacrifices and contributions made by UAW members over the past decade. President Biden joined the UAW strikers on the picket line, showing unprecedented support from a sitting U.S. president. However, the automakers argue that they have made reasonable counteroffers and that the UAW’s demands would hinder their competitiveness. The strike could potentially impact car supplies and repair shops are concerned about delays.
As the strike continues, tensions between the UAW and the carmakers are escalating. Ford CEO Jim Farley accused Fain of seeking media attention and claimed that the union boss “has been on TV more than Jake from State Farm.” Fain responded by criticizing Farley’s absence from bargaining sessions. GM officials also accused the UAW of expanding the strike for publicity and claimed that the union has not responded to the company’s latest counteroffer. Both sides seem entrenched in their positions, and the outcome of the strike remains uncertain.