UAW expands strike at Stellantis pickup truck plant in Michigan

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain greets workers at the Stellantis Sterling Heights Assembly Plant as contract negotiations begin in Sterling Heights, Michigan, U.S., July 12, 2023.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union is extending its strike to a week Stellantis The Michigan plant that produces Ram 1500 full-size pickups deals another blow to major automakers as negotiations drag on.

The walkout affects about 6,800 workers at Stellantis’ Sterling Heights assembly plant in suburban Detroit, the union publicly announced Monday morning after the strike began.

“Currently, Stellantis has the worst proposal on the table when it comes to wage growth, temporary worker salaries and conversion to full-time, cost of living adjustments (COLA), and more,” the UAW said said in a press release.

The SHAP walkout brings the total number of UAW members striking Detroit automakers to more than 40,000. It is the first escalation of the union strike in nearly two weeks and the first new work stoppage at Stellantis in over a month.

The plant is one of the most important US plants for Stellantis, but the automaker is better prepared for a work stoppage at the truck plant than its competitors in the city center General Motors And Ford engine, with a relatively good supply of Ram pickups ready to go.

According to Cox Automotive, the Ram 1500 had 114 days of supply as of October 17th. Compared to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with a 100-day supply and the Ford F-150 with a 99-day supply. The industry average is about 62 days, according to Cox.

The unannounced strike is the latest example of what UAW President Shawn Fain called a “new phase” of negotiations with automakers in which the union would take more aggressive action. Since the targeted strikes began on September 15, the UAW announced strike locations several weeks in advance, usually on Fridays.

But on October 11, the union announced its first unexpected strike at the $25 billion Ford truck plant in Kentucky, marking a significant escalation in ongoing negotiations.

Fain said Friday that there is “more to gain” from automakers.

Stellantis did not immediately comment Monday following news of the latest strike.

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