published : 2023-09-29

UAW Strike Takes a Potentially Explosive Turn as Union Boss Prepares to Announce New Targets

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain to Reveal Whether More Ford, GM, and Stellantis Plants Will Be Hit by Strikes

A photo of United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain delivering his Facebook address, captured with a Nikon D750.

Renewed negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Big Three automakers – Ford, GM, and Stellantis – have reached a critical point.

To signal their growing discontent, the UAW has been staging strikes at various plants, with plans to expand further if progress is not made.

In an address scheduled for Friday morning, UAW President Shawn Fain will update his membership through a Facebook livestream, where he may announce new strike targets.

The union's strategy is to gradually intensify the strikes, adding pressure as negotiations continue without definite agreements, making it harder for the auto companies to anticipate their next move.

The initial walkouts occurred on September 15, targeting separate plants at Ford, GM, and Stellantis after Fain's rallying call through a Facebook video.

An image of striking UAW members marching in front of the Stellantis Mopar factory, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

The following week, the strike expanded to include 38 parts distribution plants between GM and Stellantis, but Ford was spared from additional strike activity owing to reported progress in talks.

President Joe Biden expressed his support for the striking workers during a visit to the picket lines, urging them to persevere and emphasizing their deserve for a substantial raise.

Despite ongoing negotiations, Fain revealed that progress has been uneven and unpredictable, with moments of advancement quickly followed by setbacks.

Fain hinted at the possibility of amping up the pressure to push the automakers further, aiming to secure better terms for the UAW members.

This week, Fain's rhetoric against the automakers has escalated, drawing comparisons between the Big Three and the Axis powers of WWII during a speech at President Biden's visit.

A photograph of President Joe Biden addressing striking UAW members at a picket line outside a General Motors plant, shot using a Sony Alpha A7 III.

In a recent video, Fain accused GM and Stellantis of condoning violence against the striking workers, citing incidents where UAW members were hit by vehicles during picketing.

The companies responded to Fain's allegations, with GM asserting that the suspected individual involved in Michigan had been fired and banned from GM properties.

Stellantis, on the other hand, expressed dissatisfaction with the UAW's characterization of incidents on the picket lines, claiming escalation of dangerous behavior and racial slurs aimed at their employees.

As talks continue, tensions rise, with the UAW aiming to secure better conditions for its members and the automakers working to find common ground amidst the ongoing disputes.