The president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Shawn Fain, has accused GM and Stellantis of “hiring violent scabs” in a new video following a string of incidents against picketing UAW members. Stellantis has condemned the accusations and denied any wrongdoing. The UAW is currently striking against all three of the Big Detroit automakers (GM, Stellantis, Ford), and is set to expand strikes on Friday.
In the new two-minute video, Fain lists three separate incidents, including an incident at the GM Flint Processing Center in Michigan in which a non-union contractor injured five people after driving a Chevy HHR through a crowd of picketing UAW members. According to Fain, two of those members injured were taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Fain also lists an incident in Mansfield, Massachusetts in which a UAW member and a state senator were hit by cars on a picket line at a Stellantis parts depot, while in Ontario, California, reports indicate that picketing UAW members have had guns pulled on them by non-union truckers crossing the line at another Stellantis depot.
Fain said that the UAW “condemn[s] this violence that GM and Stellantis are enabling.”
“Shame on GM and Stellantis for hiring scab contractors and standing idly by as they injure and threaten the lives of their own employees,” Fain says in the new video, which you can view in its entirety below:
GM responded to the incident in Flint by banning the suspected contractors from GM property, stating that “the health and safety of all employees” is the company’s priority, and that it is “cooperating with local authorities in their investigation.”
Meanwhile, Stellantis was far more defensive in its response. According to Automotive News, Stellantis said that it is “appalled” by the UAW’s characterization of recent events.
“Since the UAW expanded its strike to our parts distribution centers last Friday, we’ve witnessed an escalation of dangerous, and even violent, behavior by UAW picketers at several of those facilities, including slashing truck tires, jumping on vehicles, following people home and hurling racial slurs at dedicated Stellantis employees who are merely crossing the picket line to do their jobs. The fact is, Stellantis has not hired any outside replacement workers, who Shawn Fain calls ‘scabs.’ Only current employees who are protecting our business and third parties making pickups and deliveries as they normally would are entering our facilities,” the Stellantis statement reads.
GM has reportedly asked salaried employees to cross picket lines at parts distribution centers in response to the UAW’s strike expansion last week. The UAW is currently striking against all three of the Big Detroit automakers, but the labor union previously declined to expand its strike against Ford, citing substantial progress in contract negotiations with Ford.