Tue, 05 Dec 2023

CHICAGO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The United Auto Workers (UAW) is expanding its strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers to 38 General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV parts distribution centers across the United States, UAW President Shawn Fain announced during a Facebook live event Friday.

Ford Motor Co. is spared from the expansion of the strike as its negotiations with UAW will continue.

Some 5,600 workers at those facilities spanning 20 states are slated to walk off the job at noon Friday, joining the 12,700 workers who are already on UAW's strike.

The union's strike originally just targeted three plants, namely Ford's Wayne Assembly Plant in state of Michigan, GM's Wentzville Assembly in state of Missouri and Stellantis' Toledo Jeep plant in state of Ohio. This is the first time in its 88-year history for UAW striking against all Big Three U.S. automakers.

Fain threatened days ago if serious progress was not made in negotiations, the union would spread strike to more plants Friday.

Expansion of the strike will make situation worse as the impact of strike has already been spreading.

GM has idled its Fairfax plant in Kansas where 2,000 hourly employees work, as a result of the impact of the UAW strike at its Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri. Stellantis on Wednesday laid off 68 workers at its machining plant as a result of the UAW's strike at its Toledo Jeep plant in Ohio. Ford laid off about 600 workers last week at its Wayne plant, where the UAW body and paint shop workers are striking.

After almost a week of negotiations, it appears the union and the Big Three automakers are still far apart on some key issues, The Detroit News reported Friday.

GM President Mark Reuss in an opinion piece published in a local media Wednesday called UAW demands "untenable," saying GM's offer would bring 85 percent of the company's represented employees to a base wage of about 82,000 dollars a year. UAW Vice President Mike Booth, also director of the union's GM department, nevertheless responded with his own piece Thursday, saying the union was fighting for all 100 percent of its members.

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