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News > U.S.

Strike Against Big Three US Automakers Spreading

  • UAW workers on strike, U.S., Oct. 4, 2023.

    UAW workers on strike, U.S., Oct. 4, 2023. | Photo: X/ @AndyVermaut

Published 5 October 2023

Currently, about 25,300 workers represented by the UAW are on strike across the United States.

The United Auto Workers' strike against Big Three U.S. automakers further spread as the strike entered the 20th day on Wednesday.


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The union is expected to give a Facebook Live update Friday on its bargaining with the Big Three to its members. It's unclear if it plans to expand the strike then.


Ford Motor Co. is directing 350 workers at its Livonia Transmission Plant and 50 at the Sterling Heights Axle Plant not to report to work on Thursday, according to a statement sent by Ford spokesperson Dan Barbossa on Wednesday.

The layoffs are a result of the expansion of the strike to Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant last week, which produces Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator, and Police Interceptor SUVs. Ever since the union strike started on Sept. 15, Ford has laid off roughly 1,330 workers.

On Tuesday, Ford made its seventh and "strongest" offer to the union, including product commitments for every UAW-represented plant in the country, an increase in starting pay for temporary workers to US$21 per hour, conversion upon ratification of all temporary workers with at least three months of continuous service and a wage increase of "more than 20 percent."

The offer also includes restoring cost-of-living allowances, eliminating wage tiers, reducing by "more than half" the time it takes workers to reach the top of the wage scale.

Stellantis was spared from strike expansion last week as it made progress in talks with the union on areas including cost-of-living adjustments, the right not to cross a picket line, the right to strike over product commitments and plant closures, and an outsourcing moratorium.

With 9,200 UAW member workers on strike, General Motors (GM) has laid off 2,175 at its plants that feed those facilities or require parts from them. The Detroit-based automaker estimates the strike has affected another 2,500 workers at its suppliers.


In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, GM said that the UAW strike has cost it 200 million dollars as of late September.

It has established a 6 billion-dollar line of credit to deal with the impact of the strike. But the line of credit "is just prudent in light of some of the messages that we've seen from some of the UAW leadership that they intend to drag this on for months," said GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson in an interview with CNBC's "Halftime Report" show on Wednesday.

"We've got to continue to fund the transformation and really position GM for the future for all of our people."

The union on Monday provided a counteroffer to GM's Sept. 21 offer. Details of the union's counteroffer haven't been released. GM is the sole automaker among the Big Three that has not been spared of UAW's strike expansion on Sept. 22 and Sept. 29.

Before the strike, Ford had set up a line of credit of 4 billion dollars to bolster its financial flexibility in case the union called for a work stoppage.


Results from a Sept. 29 survey by the MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers trade association show nearly 30 percent of 80 surveyed vehicle suppliers have laid off some employees because of the strike, and more than 60 percent indicated they expect to begin layoffs by mid-October if tentative agreements aren't reached.

Furthermore, 70 percent of suppliers were concerned over their sub-suppliers' financial viability. More than half of idled suppliers said they would need at least one week to return to pre-strike production levels.

MEMA says it's working with the federal government to provide financial assistance to suppliers with less than US$200 million in annual revenue.

The UAW announced the strike at three select factories of Ford, GM, and Stellantis at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14, after its contract with the Big Three expired.

It spread the strike to 38 GM and Stellantis part-distribution plants around the country on Sept. 22, following a lack of meaningful progress in new contract negotiations; and further spread it to GM and Ford SUV assembly plants on Sept. 29.

In all, about 25,300 out of some 146,000 Big Three U.S. automakers represented by the UAW are now on strike across the country.

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