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UAW strike against the Big Three: A timeline of historic 2023 work action

United Auto Workers
Some 2,300 United Auto Workers at General Motors Corp.'s Lansing Delta Assembly Plant joined the strike on Sept. 29. In all, more than 30,000 of the union's workers have walked off the job since Sept. 15. (Bridge file photo)

The United Auto Workers launched a targeted strike against Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis in the early hours of Sept. 15. Since then, more than 30,000 workers are off the job at 44 facilities across the United States. Click any headline to get more details. Click again to hide them.

July 10: UAW President Shawn Fain announces the start of negotiations with Big Three

Sept. 15: UAW strike begins

  • Shortly after midnight, autoworkers walk off the job at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Toledo Assembly plant where Stellantis builds Jeeps, and General Motors' Wentzville Assembly, a truck factory near St. Louis, Missouri.
  • The action makes history as it is the first time the UAW launches a strike against all three major automakers.
  • UAW President Shawn Fain calls the work action a "stand-up strike" that will target plants with little notice. Doing so, he says, will destabilize the Big Three. The strategy also saves the union money from its strike fund payments to workers. "This is our defining moment," Fain says.
people walking off in Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne
Thousands of United Auto Workers members walk off the job in the early hours of Sept. 15 after contracts expired. (Photo courtesy of United Auto Workers)

Sept. 16: Bernie Sanders rallies with UAW workers in Detroit

Bernie Sanders on stage
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders walks the picket lines with UAW workers in Detroit, accusing auto manufacturers of greed. (Photo by Quinn Banks)

Sept. 20: Layoffs continue

Sept. 22: Strike expands to distribution centers

  • During a Facebook Live event, UAW President Shawn Fain announces the strike will expand to parts distribution centers of General Motors and Stellantis. Autoworkers at 38 facilities in 20 states walked out shortly after the announcement.
  • A total of 2,572 GM workers strike at the Davison Road Processing and Flint Processing in Genesee County; Lansing Redistribution Center in Eaton County; Pontiac Redistribution Center in Oakland County; Willow Run Distribution Center in Wayne County and Ypsilanti Processing Center in Washtenaw County.  Other striking facilities are GM parts centers in Cincinnati, Denver, Hudson, Wisc., Chicago, Reno, Nev., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Fort Worth, Texas, Martinsburg, West Va., Jackson, Miss., Charlotte, Memphis and Philadelphia. 
  • Stellantis’ MOPAR parts centers subject to the strike in Michigan are in Marysville, Centerline, Warren, Auburn Hills and Romulus. The out-of-state targeted Stellantis sites are in Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta, Winchester, Va., Orlando, Dallas, New York and Boston.
  • Ford announces that the impact of the strike will cause it to pause work on a $3.5 billion battery facility.
  • Related: Ford puts brakes on $3.5B BlueOval Battery Park in Marshall
  • Related: UAW calls 38 new walkouts to cripple U.S. parts supplies

Sept. 26: President Joe Biden walks picket lines with UAW workers

Sept. 27: Donald Trump visits Michigan

Donald Trump on stage
Former President Donald Trump appealed to striking auto workers on Sept. 27 in a Detroit-area speech (Bridge photo by Jonathan Oosting)

Sept. 29: UAW expands strike at Ford, GM

  • UAW President Shawn Fain announces that workers at two more plants — GM’s  Lansing/Delta Township Assembly and Ford’s Chicago Assembly  — will strike, adding 7,000 workers to the walkout that hits 25,000 workers with the expansion.
  • Fain announces progress with Stellantis and says none of its plants will be added to the strike.
UAW President Shawn Fain wears an Eat the Rich shirt
UAW President Shawn Fain announces two more striking plants in Michigan, adding 7,000 workers to the 25,000 members on strike. (Screenshot)

Oct. 9: Automakers increase offers

Oct. 10: Stellantis orders more layoffs

  • Stellantis lays off another 570 employees including 520 at Trenton Engine Complex in Wayne County, 50 at the Kokomo Casting Plant in Indiana, and 70 employees at the Toledo Machining plant in Perrysburg, Ohio. 
  • Ford’s layoffs now total 1,800 workers, including 71 at Livonia Transmission in Wayne County.
  • Significantly more layoffs ripple throughout parts suppliers.

Oct. 11: Strike expands to Ford’s ‘extremely profitable’ Kentucky Truck Plant

  • Some 8,700 UAW members walk off the job at Ford Motor Co.'s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • The plant makes larger versions of Ford's most profitable vehicle, the F150, as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, vehicles that produce about $25 billion in revenue annually. 
  • A day later, a Ford executive says the company — which has offered 20 percent raises and more vacation time — has “reached its limit” in what it can offer.
  • More than 30,000 members are on strike at 44 facilities across the United States.
  • Related: Ford has 'reached its limit,' exec says
Workers leave the Kentucky Truck Plant
Workers leave the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville on Oct. 11. The plant is the most profitable for Ford Motor Co. (Twitter image via UAW)

Oct. 23: Strike hits Sterling Heights Assembly

  • Some 6,800 workers walk off the job at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Macomb County, shutting down production at what the union called “Stellantis’ largest plant and biggest moneymaker.”
  • The factory makes the best-selling Ram 1500 trucks.
  • Stellantis responded that the UAW’s “continued disturbing strategy of ‘wounding’ all the Detroit Three will have long-lasting consequences. With every decision to strike, the UAW sacrifices domestic market share to non-union competition.”
  • The action brings the total of striking workers nationally past 40,000.

Oct. 24: Strike expands to another truck plant

  • Some 5,000 workers go on strike at General Motors’ Arlington Assembly Plant, in Texas, the company’s most profitable factory in North America. It makes full-sized SUVs including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.
  • The expansion of the strike came the same day General Motors announced the labor action is costing the company $200 million per week.

Oct. 25: UAW announces tentative deal with Ford

  • The UAW announces a tentative contract with Ford Motor Co. It calls for pay increases of 25 percent, among other major concessions.

Oct. 28: UAW reaches tentative deal with Stellantis

  • UAW president Shawn Fain announces former Fiat-Chrysler automaker Stellantis has a tentative contract. The company matches Ford’s 25 percent wage increase over the life of the contract.
  • The automaker also agree to keep the Trenton engine plant open and reopen its Belvidere, Ill., factory, and move EV production to the plant, which is 70 miles northwest of Chicago.
  • Not long after announcing the deal, the UAW expands the strike to a GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, that makes engines for large SUVs.

Oct. 30: UAW strike ends after General Motors reaches tentative deal

  • The United Auto Workers and General Motors Corp. agree to a tentative contract with General Motors that is similar to deals with Ford and Stellantis: 25 percent raise, enhanced retirement benefits and a faster progression to the top pay.
  • Nearly 145,000 autoworkers in Michigan will be covered under new contracts with the Big Three auto companies. 

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