(US) – The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is intensifying its standoff with major U.S. automakers by initiating strikes at numerous parts distribution centers across the country.
UAW leader Shawn Fain confirmed that the latest walkouts would impact 38 facilities owned by General Motors and Stellantis, as the labor dispute concerning wages and benefits persists.
Ford, on the other hand, has made more progress in negotiations and is not included in the expanded strike action.
UAW strike against big three automakers
The UAW had previously declared a strike against all three carmakers, collectively known as the Big Three, last week.
This ongoing dispute threatens to result in higher car prices and significant disruption in an industry that contributes about 3% to the U.S. economy.
The strike initially began on September 15th, involving approximately 12,700 workers at three facilities.
It has already caused estimated losses exceeding $1.6 million in the industry, including over $500 million in losses for the automakers and $100 million in lost wages for employees.
The latest expansion will involve around 5,600 additional workers across 20 states joining the strike, according to the union.
Analysts anticipate a protracted standoff, potentially benefiting non-unionized automakers like Tesla and Toyota due to lower labor costs.
The UAW, representing over 140,000 workers at the three companies, had initially sought a 40% pay increase over the four-year contract, an end to lower wages for newer hires, and automatic pay raises tied to inflation, among other demands.
In response, the carmakers offered pay increases of approximately 20%. President Joe Biden expressed support for the striking workers and sent senior advisers to assist in mediating the dispute, which coincides with broader labor tensions.
While Ford has agreed to some of the union’s demands, such as reinstating automatic pay increases tied to inflation, the overall situation remains complex and uncertain.
The UAW’s ability to mobilize strikes and public support has played a pivotal role in the ongoing negotiations, highlighting the influence of organized labor in the auto industry.