Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford speaks at the Ford Rouge factory on October 16, 2023. Photo Credit: Ford.


Strike Update:  UAW Holds Out For Better Deals From Detroit Automakers, Threatens More Walkouts

Written By: CarPro | Oct 20, 2023 7:04:10 AM

The United Auto Workers is not backing down from its 36-day old strike against the Detroit Big Three automakers.  In Friday afternoon remarks on social media, UAW President Shawn Fain reported "serious movement" in negotiations with Stellantis and General Motors in the past 24 hours, but at the same time, he threatened more walkouts as he demanded still better deals from automakers. 

Currently, all automakers are offering a 23% pay increase but Fain said "we think there's more ground to gain." During his video address, Fain also said of negotiations: "The bottom line is we've got cards left to play and they've got money left to spend."

Fain also responded to remarks made by Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford earlier this week. Monday, Ford called on the UAW to end its strike against the automaker saying he still believes in a bright future that Ford and the UAW can build together.  (Listen to his full remarks here.) Ford's remarks come after the UAW went on strike at its Kentucky Truck Plant October 11th.

"This should not be Ford versus the UAW. It should be Ford and the UAW versus Toyota, Honda, Tesla, and all the Chinese companies that want to enter our home market," Ford said. "Toyota, Honda, Tesla and the others are loving this strike because they know the longer it goes on, the better it is, for them. They will win and all of us will lose. This is why Ford's ability to invest in the future isn't just a talking point. It's the absolute lifeblood of our company. And if we lose it, we will lose to the competition. America loses. Many jobs will be lost. So will future investments. We'll lose factories like the one we're in here today. And communities will suffer greatly."

Today, Fain responded with this:

"The days of the UAW and Ford being a team to fight other companies are over. We won't be used in his phony competition. We will always and forever be on the side of working people everywhere. non union auto workers are not the enemy. Those are our future union family."

He went on say that next the UAW plans to organize non union auto companies like it's never organized before.   

Other developments this week include more layoffs from both Stellantis and Ford. This brings the number of strike-related layoffs to more than 6,000 among all three automakers. 

Walkouts continue at two Ford plants, three GM plants and two Stellantis plants. The largest of which is Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant where it builds the F-Series Super Duty, Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.   The UAW is also continuing its strike at 38 Stellantis and GM parts distribution centers.   There are now currently roughly 34,000 UAW workers on strike against all three automakers..


 Strike Timeline

  • August 25: UAW members authorize leaders to call a strike against the Detroit Big Three automakers.
  • August 27: UAW ratifies interim agreement immediately raising salaries at GM's Ultium cells battery plant.
  • August 31: Ford offers a general wage increase of 9% along with a 6% lump sum award. Read the offer here.
  • September 6: Reuters reports the UAW reportedly makes a counteroffer to Ford.
  • September 7: Ford announces that on Labor Day it raised the pay for nearly 8,000 U.S. hourly workers represented by the UAW. The raise amounts to roughly $9,000 a year without overtime and the increase is a provision of a 2019 contract.
  • September 7:  GM makes a 10% wage hike counteroffer to the UAW, an offer the UAW president calls "insulting", as reported by Reuters. (Last week, the UAW filed unfair labor practice charges against GM with the National Labor Relations Board.
  • September 7: Ford reportedly met with the UAW Thursday afternoon and according to the Detroit Free Press improved its offer.
  • September 8:  Stellantis gives UAW its first offer that reportedly includes wage hikes totaling 14.5% for most workers, according to the Detroit Free Press. (The UAW recently filed unfair labor practice charges against Stellantis as well as GM.)
  • September 8: The UAW calls Stellantis' offer "deeply unfair".
  • September 11: According to Reuters,  the UAW reports some progress in talks but still no agreement with a strike deadline three days away.  Reuters also reported that the UAW has reduced its wage demands. The news outlet also reported that GM extended a revised offer over the weekend,  with Stellantis planning to make a counteroffer to the UAW's revised offer. Read the article here.
  • September 13: Ford shares the latest on its negotiation offer.
  • September 14: GM says it made a historic offer to the UAW with 20% wage increases.
  • September 14: Ford released an evening statement about the ongoing negotiations.
  • September 14: At 11:59PM UAW workers walk of the job at three plants, one from each automaker. 
  • September 18:  UAW President Shawn Fain says strike will expand unless "serious progress" is made by noon Friday. 
  • September 20: Automotive News reports GM and Stellantis layoffs due to idled plants or parts issues.
  • September 20: GM President Mark Reuss criticizes UAW for its rhetoric and over "flow of misinformation" - CNBC
  • September 21:  Leaked private messages from a top UAW official evoke outrage from automakers.
  • September 22: UAW says it will expand strike against GM and Stellantis but not Ford. It is targeting 38 distribution centers in 20 states.
  • September 22: Stellantis shares its response to the UAW.
  • September 22: Ford releases a new statement.
  • Week of September 25th: Tensions escalate both in negotiations and on the picket lines.
  • September 26th: President Joe Biden joins a UAW picket line in Michigan.
  • September 27th: Former President Donald Trump visits a non-union automotive plant in Michigan.
  • September 29: UAW goes on strike against two additional plants, one GM and one Ford.  The UAW spares Stellantis this week.
  • September 29: Ford issues a statement.
  • October 3: Ford issues new statement regarding new offer extended to UAW on Monday night.
  • October 5: Reuters reports that GM said it extended another offer to the UAW.
  • October 6: UAW says it will not strike GM's Arlington assembly plant at this time due to a breakthrough in negotiations.
  • October 9: Stellantis lays off more workers due to strike.
  • October 10: GM faces a strike in Canada where 4,300 Unifor workers walked off the job.
  • October 10:  GM reaches tentative deal with Unifor so strike is short lived.
  • October 11: UAW strikes Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant. 
  • October 11: Ford issues statement.
  • October 13: UAW President Shawn Fain does not announce any additional strikes but says it could at any time.
  • October 16: Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford urges UAW to end the strike.
  • October 17: Stellantis announces it will cancel its planned display and presentations at CES 2024 due to the ongoing UAW strike. 
  • October 19: Ford announced it laid off another 150 workers at its Sterling Heights axle plant on Wednesday.
  • October 19: Stellantis lays off another 100 workers at its Toledo Machining plant.
  • October 20: UAW President Shawn Fain threatens more strike action but does not announce additional walkouts. 

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford speaks at the Ford Rouge factory on October 16, 2023. Photo Credit: Ford.