GM has called for nonunion, salaried employees to cross picket lines and work at parts distribution centers targeted in the ongoing UAW strike. The UAW expanded its strike to include 18 GM parts distribution centers around the country last week. The UAW may be prepared to strike for months, if necessary.
According to a report from Detroit Free Press, which cites an internal GM email, GM has asked team leaders for volunteers to work at parts distribution centers in the event of a work stoppage. The date of the email is unclear. The email outlined that although the assignment would be temporary, the commitment would depend on the length of the strike.
In a statement to Detroit Free Press, a GM spokesperson confirmed the GM does “have contingency plans for various scenarios,” adding that GM would “do what is best for our business and customers.”
“We are evaluating if and when to enact those plans,” the GM spokesperson said.
The UAW expanded its strikes against GM and Stellantis last week, citing a lack of substantial progress in contract negotiations with the two automakers. The UAW opted not to expand its strike against Ford, stating that more substantial progress was made with Ford negotiators.
The expanded strike targets 38 locations total across 20 states, including both GM and Stellantis facilities. The UAW will continue to strike at the initial targets, including the GM Wentzville plant in Missouri, the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, and the Ford Wayne Assembly plant in Michigan. GM has also idled production at its Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas as a result of the strike.
The UAW is currently employing a targeted strike strategy wherein workers at only certain facilities are called on to strike, rather than every facility all at once. This strategy is said to provide the UAW with greater flexibility, while also slowing the drain on the union’s strike funds. UAW members on strike are given $500 a week in pay.
The UAW represents roughly 146,000 workers across all three automakers.