In a shocking turn, UAW President Shawn Fain has urged an additional 7,000 workers to join the ongoing strike in the sector. This call affects two key plants: one at Ford in Chicago and another at General Motors in Lansing, Michigan.
The workers will join the 18,600 already on strike, demanding better wages for employees of these two companies and Stellantis. Fain highlighted that these workers are the “next wave of reinforcement” in the fight for historic contracts. Although there has been notable progress in negotiations with Stellantis, disagreements with Ford have led to public tensions.
Ford management has come under fire for suspending a major battery plant construction project in Michigan. Ford CEO Jim Farley accused the UAW of bad faith and denied claims of job losses due to the company’s transition to electric vehicles.
The strike has gained considerable political support, with President Joe Biden backing demands for a 40% pay increase. However, the appearance of Donald Trump on the scene has further politicized the conflict, attributing the situation to Biden’s energy transition policy toward electric vehicles.
This labor standoff, now involving more than 25,600 unionized workers, highlights growing tensions in the US auto industry and the complexity of labor negotiations against a backdrop of technological change and evolving energy policies.