UAW Poised to Expand Strike to More Auto Factories

UAW Poised to Expand Strike to More Auto Factories
UAW Poised to Expand Strike to More Auto Factories


The union would identify the factories Friday morning, barring any last-minute signs of significant movement in labor-contract talks with GM, Ford and Stellantis.

The United Auto Workers union on Friday is set to expand its strike against Detroit automakers, barring any last-minute signs of significant movement in labor-contract negotiations.

UAW President Shawn Fain has said he would instruct workers to walk out of more factories unless “serious progress" is made in talks with General Motors, Ford Motor and Jeep-maker Stellantis. About 12,700 factory workers have been on strike for a week at three plants, one for each automaker.

Negotiators have been meeting all week, but publicly, the sides have reported little progress toward bridging what they have described as a significant gap in proposals on wage increases and other issues.

The latest counteroffers from the companies settled at around 20% wage increases over four years, among other benefits, proposals that auto executives have called the most generous in decades. The union has called these offers insufficient, and it has recently pushed for a mid-30% wage increase, down from an initial 40%.

This week, Fain has posted memes on the social-media platform X, counting down to the likely Friday morning announcement of further walkouts, including a video mashup of several scenes from “The Hunger Games" and other popular movies.

He plans to reveal which additional plants the union will target for strikes on a Facebook livestream at 10 a.m. ET. The walkouts would start at noon, if talks remain stalled.

GM President Mark Reuss wrote an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press accusing Fain’s team of misrepresenting the company’s ability to afford the union’s demands. He said 85% of GM’s unionized workers earn a base wage of about $82,000 annually under a recent GM proposal.

UAW’s GM bargaining head Mike Booth responded in a subsequent opinion piece, saying that a percentage of the company’s workers aren’t making high enough wages, and that the automaker can afford to cut spending in some areas.

Analysts have said the union could go after factories that build full-size pickup trucks such as Ford’s F-150 and Stellantis’ Ram 1500. Those are the companies’ top-selling vehicles and deliver the bulk of their profits.

However, the union’s last round of walkouts took many industry observers by surprise. Fain has said the UAW’s strategy is to keep the companies guessing through factory shutdowns that they may not have expected or prepared for.

Late last week, workers went on strike at a Ford factory in suburban Detroit, a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio, and a GM factory in Wentzville, Mo., which makes vans and midsize pickup trucks.

So far, lost production at those sites has been relatively minimal, according to Wall Street analysts. Through Thursday, the three companies lost roughly 13,000 planned vehicles from the closures, Deutsche Bank analysts estimated. The hit to the bottom lines ranged from $47 million to $61 million, the bank said.

While the strike directly affects roughly 10% of the companies’ North American production, some knock-on effects have disrupted other factories. At least 6,100 workers from the three carmakers and their suppliers are laid off or likely to be affected as a result of the work stoppages at the three striking plants, according to disclosures from the companies.

GM said Wednesday that it closed a factory in the Kansas City area, which makes the Cadillac XT4 compact SUV, and laid off 2,000 workers, because of disrupted supply of metal stampings from GM’s Wentzville plant.

Write to Nora Eckert at

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