Striking United Auto Workers (UAW) members from the General Motors Lansing Delta Plant picket in Delta Township, Michigan September 29, 2023.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
DETROIT – The United Auto Workers will not expand strikes against the Detroit automakers this week amid progress in the talks, UAW President Shawn Fain said Friday.
This is the first time since targeted strikes by the UAW started on Sept. 15 that the union will not expand the work stoppages at General Motors, Ford Motor or Chrysler-parent Stellantis.
Fain said the union was planning to shut down GM’s Arlington Assembly plant until a last-minute verbal proposal by the company to include the automaker’s battery cell workers under its national agreement.
UAW has been gradually increasing the strikes since the work stoppages began, after the sides failed to reach tentative agreements by Sept 14. The targeted, or “stand up,” strikes are taking place instead of national walkouts in which all plants simultaneously strike.
“Here’s the bottom line: We are winning. We are making progress,” Fain said Friday.
Only 25,200 workers, or roughly 17% of UAW members covered by the expired contracts with the Detroit automakers, are currently on strike. Fain previously said the union would increase the work stoppages, based on progress in the contract negotiations.
The strikes began at an assembly plant for each of the Detroit automakers, followed by 38 parts and distribution centers for GM and Stellantis. A week ago, the union expanded strikes to assembly plants for GM in mid-Michigan and Ford in Illinois.
“We’ve bee very careful about how we escalate this strategy,” Fain said.
Vehicle production impacted by the strikes include Ford’s Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco, Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs; Stellantis’ Jeep Wrangler SUV and Gladiator small pickup; and GM’s Chevrolet and GMC midsize pickups, Chevrolet Traverse, Cadillac XT4 and Buick Enclave SUVs and Chevrolet Malibu sedan. The Malibu and XT4 production were idled due to parts shortages caused by the strike.
GM this week said the UAW’s strike cost it $200 million in lost production during the third quarter.
UAW negotiators have received counter proposals from each of the Detroit automakers during the past week, starting with Stellantis a week ago before Fain’s Friday strike announcement. Ford followed early in the week with a proposal and then GM submitted a counteroffer Wednesday night.
— This is breaking news. Please check back for additional updates.