US Auto Workers Launch Simultaneous Strike at ‘Detroit Three’

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United Auto Workers union launched simultaneous strikes at three factories owned by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler parent Stellantis early on Friday, kicking off the most ambitious US industrial labor action in decades.

The walkouts at the “Detroit Three” will halt production of the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, along with other popular models. UAW President Shawn Fain said the union will hold off for now on more costly company-wide strikes, but said all options are open if new contracts are not agreed.

Fain laid out plans for the unprecedented, simultaneous walkouts in a Facebook Live address less than two hours before the expiration of the old contract.

The walkouts capped weeks of clashes between Fain and Detroit Three executives over union demands for a bigger share of profits generated by combustion trucks, and stronger job security as automakers shift to electric vehicles.

“For the first time in our history we will strike all three of the Big Three,” Fain said.

The strikes involving a combined 12,700 workers will take place at assembly plants operated by Ford (F.N) in Wayne, Michigan, GM (GM.N) in Wentzville, Missouri and Stellantis’ (STLAM.MI) Jeep brand in Toledo, Ohio. They are critical to the production of some of the Detroit Three’s most profitable vehicles, Reuters reported.

Fain’s decision to go with targeted walkouts could limit the cost to the union of strike pay. The UAW has a strike fund of $825 million, which pales in comparisons to billions in liquidity the automakers have built up thanks to robust profits from the trucks and SUVs UAW members build.

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