UAW widens strike to all GMStellantis plants that , distribute parts

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By Dan Sears

The United Auto Workers expanded its strikes against two of the Big Three automakers on Friday as talks with General Motors and Chrysler parent Stellantis hit a wall.

However, the union kept its Ford walkout limited to a single plant after the two sides made some major inroads in their negotiations, UAW president Shawn Fain said.

“We’re not going to wait around forever for a big contract from the Big Three,” Fain said before announcing the union’s next strike targets. “Ford is showing that they’re serious about reaching a deal, at GM and Stellantis, it’s a different story.”

“Both companies are still offering a deficient cost-of-living allowance — zero increases over the next four years,” Fain said.

At noon, union workers began walking off the job at all 38 parts distribution centers across the United States run by GM and Stellantis, extending its unprecedented, simultaneous strikes that began with one assembly plant each of the Big Three. The additional facilities added about 5,600 workers to the 12,700 already on strike.

The surprise decision to picket the distribution centers will impact consumers trying to obtain repair parts, experts said.

“Stellantis and GM in particular are going to need some serious pushing,” said Fain, who addressed union members wearing a military-style camouflage shirt.


UAW President Shawn Fain on Friday said ahead of the union's 12 p.m. EST deadline: "Ford is showing that they're serious about reaching a deal, at GM and Stellanis, it's a different story."
UAW President Shawn Fain on Friday said ahead of the union’s 12 p.m. EST deadline: “Ford is showing that they’re serious about reaching a deal, at GM and Stellanis, it’s a different story.”
REUTERS

A GM spokesperson told The Post in a statement: “Today’s strike escalation by the UAW’s top leadership is unnecessary. The decision to strike an additional 18 of our facilities, affecting more than 3,000 team members plus their families and communities, adds validity … that the UAW leadership is manipulating the bargaining process for their own personal agendas.”

The spokesperson added that it has “presented five separate economic proposals that are historic, addressing areas that our team members have said matter most: wage increases and job security while allowing GM to succeed and thrive into the future.” 

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A Stellantis rep said the escalation by the UAW “questions whether the union’s leadership has ever had an interest in reaching an agreement in a timely manner. They seem more concerned about pursuing their own political agendas than negotiating in the best interests of our employees and the sustainability of our US operations given the market’s fierce competition.”

“The fact is, we made a very competitive offer yesterday that includes all our current full-time hourly employees earning between $80,000 and $96,000 a year by the end of the contract,” the company said in a statement to The Post.

Ford was spared any additional work stoppages after the F-150 producer agreed to ditch wage tiers at its Rawsonville Components and Sterling Axle plants, reinstate a cost of living allowance that was suspended in 2009 and provide additional job securities in the event of a layoff, Fain said.

The Detroit auto giant also gave unionized workers the right to strike over plant closures, the first time in the UAW’s 88-year history that it reached this agreement with an employer.

Fain said they have more work to do, but “we do want to recognize that Ford is showing they’re serious about reaching a deal.”


GM and Stellantis rej
The UAW’s strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers — Ford, GM and Stellantis — began on Sept. 15. Picketing workers were originally asking for a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week and benefits for office workers.
REUTERS

“Ford is working diligently with the UAW to reach a deal that rewards our workforce and enables Ford to invest in a vibrant and growing future,” a spokesperson for the automaker told The Post.

“Although we are making progress in some areas, we still have significant gaps to close on the key economic issues. In the end, the issues are interconnected and must work within an overall agreement that supports our mutual success.”

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Fain invited President Joe Biden to come to the picket lines — along with other politicians, friends and family.

The president has been vocal in his support for the union’s demands for better pay and benefits. White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say if Biden would visit a picket line but said Biden “appreciates Shawn Fain inviting him.”

Former President Donald Trump, who is seeking a new term, will be in Michigan next week to address auto workers about the strike.

The union was originally asking for a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week and benefits for office workers when it began the strike last Friday.

Initial counteroffers made by Ford, GM and Stellantis reportedly offered raises marking a 20% increase over four years, though the union said it wasn’t willing to accept pay raise percentages below 30%.

The Big Three grew their inventories in August in anticipation of this strike, though a halt of operations at this scale will no doubt impact consumers.

The expanded strike won’t just hurt those looking for car parts. Americans looking to purchase a car could also start feeling the pinch of soaring prices if the dispute lingers.


GM and Stellantis "rejected all of our job security proposals and profit-sharing proposals" and refused to eliminate wage tiers, Fain said.
GM and Stellantis “rejected all of our job security proposals and profit-sharing proposals” and refused to eliminate wage tiers, Fain said.
REUTERS

Rob Handfield, a business professor at North Carolina State University, predicts a month-long strike could lead to a roughly 10% increase in vehicle prices with hikes depending on the make and model.

“If it goes for a month or more, that might start eating into their inventory and when dealers start having fewer cars on the lot, you’re likely to see prices go up at that point,” Handfield told The Post on Tuesday. “They could go up as much as 10%.”

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“The Big Three have fixed prices they provide to dealers, but that’s separate from the price the dealers charge,” Handfield continued. “The UAW is trying to hit the plants that have the most expensive vehicles – the trucks and the SUVs – they’re really trying to hurt them as much as they can.”


Ford agreed to ditch wage tiers at its Rawsonville Components and Sterling Acle plants, "reinstate a cost of living allowance that was suspended in 2009" and provide "additional job securities in the event of a layoff."
Ford agreed to ditch wage tiers at its Rawsonville Components and Sterling Acle plants, “reinstate a cost of living allowance that was suspended in 2009” and provide “additional job securities in the event of a layoff.”
Getty Images

Tom Maoli, a Ford dealership owner in New Jersey, expects to raise his prices by 20% once the strike continues for two weeks, which would mean Maoli could hike costs as early as Sept. 29.

“Inventories on lots of dealerships will start drying up as they get sold and there won’t be enough cars to go around,” Maoli told CBS News, noting that car parts will actually be the “biggest issue.”

“That means tires, brakes, anything you need to change and keep your car running.”

With Post wires

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