Wage conflict in the US: General Motors and Stellantis face strikes at 38 plants

Gabrielle Coppola, David Welch and Keith Naughton

09-22-2023 14:41

General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV face strikes in other 38 plants due to lack of progress in talks with their workers unionwhile Ford Motor Co. escaped escalation after making progress in negotiations.

UAW President Shawn Fain declared Friday in a briefing streamed live on Facebook that the union will go after all GM and Stellantis parts plants. The additional stoppages are intended to increase pressure on companies as they negotiate a new labor contract.

“We’re going to shut down parts distribution until those two companies come to their senses and come to the table with a serious offer,” Fain said. “Stellantis and GM in particular are going to need a big push.”

The UAW is targeting custom service operators GM and Stellantis as a way to pressure them to make more concessions without affecting the plants that produce the highest-margin vehicles. Faced with a shortage of parts, vehicle owners will have to wait longer to get their cars repaired and dealerships will lose service revenue.

UAW union begins strike at three Detroit automakers

Stellantis and GM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A week of strikes

A week ago, the union ordered walkouts at a GM factory in Missouri that assembles Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks, a Stellantis plant in Ohio that builds Jeep Wrangler SUVs and a Ford plant in Michigan that makes Bronco SUVs.

Fain said that The strike against the Ford factory in Michigan will not expand at this time, adding that talks with the automaker have seen “some real progress.” He congratulated the automaker for officially reinstating a cost-of-living subsidy suspended in 2009.

Ford welcomed the signal from union leaders, but noted that he still Much remains to be done before reaching an agreement.

A strike in the United States automotive sector could generate losses of US$ 5.6 billion

“While we are making progress in some areas, we still have important gaps to close on key economic issues,” the company said in a statement following Fain’s remarks. “The issues are interconnected and must work within an overall agreement that supports our mutual success.”

For GM and Stellantis, the news was less encouraging. The 38 parts facilities represent all of those two companies’ parts distribution centers in the United States.

“Strike at parts plants could force dealers to run out of parts immediatelyas supply chain issues have already left many components on backorder,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions.

Additional GM and Stellantis plants will be affected by a strike starting at 12 p.m. local time on Friday, Fain said.

Translated by Paulina Munita.

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