The State of the UAW Strike
The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike has been making headlines since it began on September 15, 2023. This labor strike involves automobile workers in the UAW and the three unionized automakers in the United States—Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis. These three automakers’ factories combined employ about 145,000 UAW members and produce about 50% of the vehicles manufactured annually in the US.
The initial strike called for roughly 13,000 UAW members to stop work at three plants. A week later, 5,600 workers walked out of 38 General Motors and Stellantis facilities in 20 states. As the strike enters its third week, we look back on the expansion to 38 new production facilities and President Biden’s visit to the picket line. Which in itself is historic as this is the first time in American history a sitting president has walked a union picket line.
Beyond the non-stop international media attention, and the hiccups in production, the strike has spread to 38 new facilities, been visited by one former and one current American president, and caused multiple auto suppliers to announce layoffs. Suppliers such as CIE Newcor and Dana have warned that hundreds of layoffs are coming in the wake of the ongoing strike.
As the strike enters its third week of negotiations with the Big Three, the UAW’s scope of action looks set to expand. UAW president Shawn Fain pledged that, “should negotiations not make any significant headway, he was ready to amp up the pressure”. Fain is expected to announce an expansion of the UAW’s rolling Stand Up Strike.
Support from Allied Groups
Over 130 organizations signed an open letter to the CEOs of the Big Three last week, urging them to accept the UAW’s contract demands. The letter includes signatories such as Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace USA, Sunrise Movement, 350.org, and Mighty Earth.