The strike begun by the United Auto Workers last week expanded to 38 parts-distribution centers across a dozen states as the union demands higher wages as well as “economic and social justice.”
Around 13,000 auto workers had already stopped working at Ford, Stellantis and General Motors plants in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio before additional GM and Stellantis facilities were added to the strike. No further Ford locations were impacted by the expanded strike as the UAW said it had made progress with company executives.
“We’ve made some real progress at Ford,” UAW President Shawn Fain said. “We still have serious issues to work through, but we do want to recognize that Ford is showing that they are serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it’s a different story.”
Stellantis facilities are striking in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois, California, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Georgia, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts.
GM facilities are striking in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, California, Texas, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.
“Today’s strike escalation by the UAW’s top leadership is unnecessary,” GM said in a statement. “The UAW leadership is manipulating the bargaining process for their own personal agendas.”
Stellantis said that it had offered to pay current full time hourly employees between $80,000-$96,000 within the next five years.
The UAW is pushing for a 36% pay bump over a four-year period for workers. Ford and GM said they could do 20%, and Stellantis put forth a 17.5% increase over four years, according to the Associated Press. Other demands by the union are a 32-hour work week with pay for 40 hours, pensions for new employees, and inflation-based pay bumps.
President Joe Biden said that he would go to Michigan on Tuesday to support the workers on strike.
“Tuesday, I’ll go to Michigan to join the picket line and stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create,” he posted to X. “It’s time for a win-win agreement that keeps American auto manufacturing thriving with well-paid UAW jobs.”
Biden will likely not be welcome by all workers, many of whom blame him for pushing massive subsidies toward electric vehicles and pushing a “transition” away from traditional gas-powered cars.
Former President Donald Trump is also set to make an appearance in Michigan, opting to give a speech to the workers as opposed to participating in the Republican presidential debate.
“I’m on the side of making our country great,” Trump said when asked during an interview about the strike. “The auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership, and their leadership should endorse Trump.”