The United Auto Workers labor union, or UAW, has expanded its strike against two of the Big Three Detroit automakers, including GM, targeting the GM Lansing Delta Township plant in Lansing, Michigan. The GM Lansing Delta Township plant assembles the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave, and is scheduled to to begin production of the GMC Acadia. The UAW also expanded its strike against Ford, but opted not to expand its strike against Stellantis, at least for the time being.
The UAW announced the new strike targets via social media today after reports earlier this week indicated the union would expand its strike in the event that significant progress was not made in contract negotiations.
“To be clear, negotiations haven’t broke down,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a livestream address. “We’re still talking with all three companies. And I’m still very hopeful that we can reach a deal that reflects the incredible sacrifices and contributions our members have made over the last decade. But I also know that what we win at the bargaining table depends on the power we build on the job. It’s time to use that power.”
In addition to expanding the strike to include the GM Lansing Delta Township plant, the UAW has also announced that it is now striking at Ford’s Chicago Assembly plant in Illinois. UAW members at both facilities walked off the job at noon, sending a further 7,000 autoworkers to the picket line. At present, roughly 25,300 UAW members are on strike. The UAW represents a total of 146,000 autoworkers across all three of the Big Detroit automakers. The UAW opted not to expand its strike against Stellantis this week, with the union citing more substantial progress in negotiations with Stellantis.
GM Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Gerald Johnson responded to the strike expansion with a statement.
“We still have not received a comprehensive counteroffer from UAW leadership to our latest proposal made on September 21,” Johnson’s statement reads. “Calling more strikes is just for the headlines, not real progress. The number of people negatively impacted by these strikes is growing and includes our customers who buy and love the products we build. For our part, we continue to stand ready and willing to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement that benefits you and doesn’t let the non-union manufacturers win.”
Johnson added that the current “record proposal” offers “historic wage increases and job security while not jeopardizing our future.”
The UAW began its strike following the expiration of the previous labor contracts on September 14th. Rather than strike at all facilities all at once, the UAW is employing a targeted strike strategy that calls for walkouts at certain facilities, a move that is believed to provide union negotiators with greater flexibility.