UAW strike against the Big Three: A timeline of historic 2023 work action
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
- The United Auto Workers begin negotiations with Stellantis on July 13, Ford Motor Co. on July 14 and with General Motors on July 18. The negotiations begin nearly one month before contracts are set to end at 11:59 p.m. on Sept.14.
- The negotiations for a four-year contract come amid record profits, with Ford making $3.7 billion, GM $4.9 billion and Stellantis $12.1 billion in the first half of 2023.
- The profits followed significant concessions by the UAW in earlier contracts and come as the gap widens between worker and executive wages: The average employee at Ford makes $74,691, while CEO Jim Farley’s total compensation was $21 million. GM workers average $80,034, while CEO Mary Barra’s total compensation was $29 million, while Stellantis employees averaged $67,887, while CEO Carlos Tavares’ total compensation was $24.8 million.
- The UAW seeks 40 percent wage increases; cost of living increases; a 32-hour workweek; more vacation days; a cap on the number of temporary workers; better retirement benefits and a return of the jobs bank that guaranteed workers they would be paid most of their wages even if work wasn’t available.
- Ford’s initial offer includes 9 percent raises over the life of the contract, $12,000 lump sum payments and the elimination of wage tiers; Stellantis offers 14.5 percent wage increases and $10,500 lump sum payments, while GM proposed 10 percent raises and $6,000.
- Related: By the numbers: How many UAW members in Michigan, how much would strike cost
- Related: As UAW strike looms, what to know about contract talks, Big Three finances
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.
🎶We are the union, the mighty mighty union🎶— Left Voice (@left_voice) September 15, 2023
This is what the gates of the Ford assembly plant looks like in Wayne, Michigan. For the first time ever, Big 3 auto workers are on strike at the same time. #StandUpUAW #UAWStrike pic.twitter.com/S3CoTSwvIf
Sept. 16: Bernie Sanders rallies with UAW workers in Detroit
- U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders joined hundreds of auto workers protesting outside UAW-Ford Joint Trusts Center on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit. Also at the protest: UAW President Shawn Fain, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.
- Related: Coverage of Sanders' appearance
- Related: What to know as strike may spread
Sept. 20: Layoffs continue
- Stellantis lays off 368 workers at the Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, and Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting facilities in Kokomo, Indiana.
- General Motors lays off about 2,000 workers in Fairfax, Kansas.
- Ford lays off 600 non-striking workers at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne shortly after the strike begins.
- Related: Autoworkers ‘walking on eggshells’ as they await UAW strike outcome
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
- Former U.S. President Donald Trump gives a speech at Drake Enterprises, a non-unionized auto supplier in Macomb County, in an effort to woo UAW members to support his 2024 campaign for president. He predicts President Joe Biden's push for electric vehicle vehicles will doom the auto industry.
- “You’re all on the picket lines and everything, but it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you get, because in two years you’re all going to be out of business,” he said.
- Related: Trump returns to Michigan to court striking workers
- Related: Fain pushes back as Trump plans Michigan trip to court UAW
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.
Oct. 9: Automakers increase offers
- Amid the strike, the Big Three improve their offers. At this point, Ford offers 23 percent pay raises, up from 9 percent; General Motors’ offers 20 percent raises, up from 10 percent; while Stellantis offers 21.4 percent raises, up from 14.5 percent.
- In addition, GM agrees to allow its workforce in future battery plants to be covered by the UAW master contract.
- Roughly 4,000 United Auto Workers members in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida go on strike after rejecting a tentative agreement with Mack Trucks Inc. of North Carolina.
- The UAW now has more than 30,000 members on strike in 22 states.
- Related: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Michigan ‘uniquely impacted’ by UAW strike
- Related: GM agrees to place EV factories under contract
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
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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