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UAW Expands Strike as Nearly 7,000 Walk Out of Stellantis’s Largest Plant

The walkout brings the total number of UAW members on strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers to more than 40,000.

Workers picket outside of the Ford Assembly plant as the UAW strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers continues on October 10, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

The United Auto Workers union launched a surprise expansion of its strike against Stellantis on Monday, calling on nearly 7,000 employees at the company’s largest plant to walk off the job in response to the carmaker’s inadequate contract offers.

“Despite having the highest revenue, the highest profits (North American and global), the highest profit margins, and the most cash in reserve, Stellantis lags behind both Ford and General Motors in addressing the demands of their UAW workforce,” the union said in a statement. “Currently, Stellantis has the worst proposal on the table regarding wage progression, temporary worker pay and conversion to full-time, cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), and more.”

Monday’s walkout at Stellantis’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) in Michigan — the company’s largest facility and the site where the popular Ram 1500 pickup truck is built — brings the total number of UAW members on strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers to more than 40,000.

The UAW called SHAP Stellantis’ “biggest moneymaker.” The company reported $18 billion in profits last year — up 26% compared to 2021 — and its chief executive took home nearly $25 million, 365 times more than Stellantis’ average employee.

“We want our fair share,” UAW president Shawn Fain told striking workers outside of the Sterling Heights facility. “So, let’s get to it. Let’s stand up and let’s win this thing.”

“No bucks, no trucks!”

Local 1700 has shut down Sterling Heights Assembly! #StandUpUAW pic.twitter.com/q5sSniIuor

— UAW (@UAW) October 23, 2023

The union’s latest strike expansion came days after Fain outlined the three major automakers’ contract proposals so far, more than a month into the UAW’s historic walkouts.

Fain said Friday that Stellantis, Ford, and General Motors have each offered pay increases of 23%, up from their original offers of 9%. The UAW has demanded a 36% wage increase over the course of a four-year contract, as well as significant benefit improvements and union protections for electric vehicle battery plant workers.

Stellantis has thus far “rejected all increases to retiree pay” and refused to meet the union’s demands on temporary worker pay and wage progressions, Fain said during last week’s bargaining update.

“If we stand together, if we have faith, we will win. Not just a good contract. Not just a record contract. But a contract that turns the tide,” said Fain. “Don’t let them divide us. Don’t let them scare us. Don’t let them confuse us. Our cause is just, the money is there, and our strategy is working. Time is on our side. The American public is on our side. The facts are on our side.”