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Michigan union workers OK strike against Stellantis over health concerns

the hood of a grey Ram truck
Over 1,000 workers at the Warren Stamping Plant authorized a strike this week against Stellantis NA. The factory produces components like hoods, roofs, liftgates and fenders for products like the Dodge Ram trucks built in Windsor, Ontario. (Courtesy image)
  • Workers at the Stellantis Warren Stamping Plant authorized a strike if health and safety grievances can’t be resolved
  • The vote comes months after a national strike by the Detroit Three as the UAW fights for a ‘just transition’ during the electrification switch.
  • Stellantis has been targeted by regulators in Detroit, where emissions from a paint shop resulted in over $80,000 in fines

Workers at the Stellantis Warren Stamping Plant authorized a strike Monday over what they say is the automaker’s refusal to address health and safety grievances at the Macomb County facility.

The strike vote returns Michigan workers to the labor spotlight. It comes months after the Detroit Three automakers — General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis, the former Fiat Chrysler — resolved a national strike with the UAW, setting a course for raises and what union leaders call a “just transition” as manufacturers shift to electric vehicle production.


Unresolved issues in Warren include problems with ventilation fans, personal protective equipment, flooding, basement lighting and flooring, restrooms, oil leaks and overall sanitation, union officials said Monday. 


United Auto Workers Local 869, which represents about 1,100 workers at the plant north of Detroit, said about 90 percent of workers OK’d a work stoppage if a resolution cannot be reached. 

“We want these health and safety grievances resolved,” UAW Local 869 President Romaine McKinney III said in a statement. 

Stellantis officials on Tuesday said in a statement that the company “remains committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all employees and resolving this matter without a work stoppage “

“Employees are still at work,” the company added, noting that negotiations continue.

Stellantis is Michigan’s fifth-largest employer, with about 40,000 workers in the state. Its ties to Michigan include factories in Dundee, Trenton, Sterling Heights and Detroit, and also engineering and R&D operations, including at the company’s North American corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills. The company has been exploring a sale and leaseback of the HQ building, while it also weighs future uses for its Michigan-based factories. 

Since the national labor victory in 2023, Stellantis and other US automakers are trying to overcome the acute mismatch between their massive EV investments and lower-than-forecast EV sales, which still make the vehicles money-losers.

Criticism of Stellantis has been growing as the company announces salaried and hourly layoffs in Detroit and nearby Toledo. Most recently, 199 workers at the Sterling Heights stamping factory were laid off, a move that union officials called “disgusting,” the Detroit News reported.

The automaker also was fined this year for state environmental violations.

A week ago, Netherlands-based Stellantis reported a 12% decline in global revenue in the first quarter. In North America, shipments were down 20% and net revenues declined by 15%. 

In contrast, Stellantis made nearly $20 billion in profits last year. The company plans to launch 25 new models this year, including 18 EVs. Among them will be a hydrogen-powered Dodge Ram truck built in Mexico.


EGLE fine

The strike vote in Warren also comes two months after state environmental officials fined Stellantis for violating air quality standards at its Jefferson North factory complex in Detroit. 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said Stellantis will have to pay $84,420 in fines for emissions from its paint shop. 

While EGLE says the plant has been in compliance since fall 2023, the Detroit News reported last month that neighbors say the plant still smells. 

Warren Stamping supplies over half a dozen Stellantis plants, from Windsor, Ontario, to Saltillo, Mexico, and any work stoppage could particularly impact production of the Dodge Ram, Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wagoneer.

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