The United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union is set to expand its ongoing strike against automakers this Friday if progress is not made in establishing a new contract. The UAW announced an initial round of strikes immediately following the expiration of the previous labor contracts earlier this month. The union expanded those strikes against GM and Stellantis a week later due to unsatisfactory progress in contract negotiations.
According to a report from Reuters, which cites an unnamed insider source, UAW President Shawn Fain will announce new strike targets at 10 a.m. on Friday via a livestream online broadcast. Workers are expected to walk out at targeted facilities around 12 p.m.
The UAW launched its initial round of strikes following the expiration of previous contracts at 11:59 p.m., September 14th. The UAW targeted all three of the Big Detroit Automakers (GM, Ford, Stellantis), a first for the union. Initial targets included the GM Wentzville plant in Missouri, Ford’s Wayne Assembly Plant in Michigan, and the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio.
The UAW later expanded its strike targets to 38 parts distribution sites across 20 states, including both GM and Stellantis facilities. The UAW opted not to expand its strike against Ford, stating that more-substantial progress had been made in contract negotiations with Ford.
The UAW’s targeted strike strategy is said to provide union negotiators with greater flexibility compared to striking at all automaker facilities all at once. The targeted strategy will also put less strain on the UAW’s strike funds. Striking UAW members are given $500 per week in strike pay. Internal communications indicate the UAW is prepared to strike for months, if needed. The UAW represents roughly 146,000 autoworkers across all three makes, including 46,000 GM workers, 57,000 Ford workers, and 43,000 Stellantis workers.
The UAW has called for record contracts on the back of record profits realized by automakers. The union previously demanded a 40-percent pay increase over a four-year contract, but has reportedly lowered its demands to 36 percent.