The United Auto Workers has expanded its strike against General Motors and Ford, at GM’s Lansing, Michigan, Delta Township Assembly and Ford’s Chicago Assembly, according to a statement made Friday morning by UAW President Shawn Fain.
An additional 7,000 UAW members at these two plants were expected to join the strike at noon Eastern Time, bringing the total number of “Big Three” strikers to approximately 25,000 members at 43 facilities in 21 states, the union said.
Chrysler parent company Stellantis has been spared from additional walkouts due to last-minute concessions by the company, Fain said in his statement, which was broadcast via Facebook Live.
“Over the last week, the vice presidents, your national negotiators, and my office have been working night and day to bargain a record contract that reflects the record profits we have produced for the Big Three,” Fain said. “Sadly, despite our willingness to bargain, Ford and GM have refused to make meaningful progress at the table.”
One week prior, the UAW announced it planned to extend its strike to 38 Stellantis and General Motors automotive parts distribution centers across 20 states. The centers supply parts to dealerships.
President Biden and former President Donald Trump both visited striking workers earlier this week.
During a press briefing, Ford CEO Jim Farley accused UAW leaders of holding up a new labor agreement and halting production at several factories over wages and benefits at new battery plants for electric vehicles, according to Reuters.
The news outlet reported that Farley said plant negotiations are difficult, but added “I don’t think we have reached … an impasse, but that day could come.”
There is a wide gap between the UAW and the automakers on key issues. Fain has demanded 40% pay increases over a four-year contract, while the companies have offered pay hikes of roughly 20%.