Nearly 13,000 auto workers walked off the assembly lines at midnight Fridy morning after failed negotiations between the union and carmakers. The strike was announced by union president Shawn Fain.
The United Auto Workers strike is affecting three plants, General Motors location in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan; and a Stellantis Jeep facility in Toledo, Ohio.
It marks the first time in the union’s nearly nine decades that the Big Three are being targeted at the same time. The union is demanding nearly double the wage increases the carmakers have offered so far, company-provided pension plans, and cost-of-living salary adjustments.
The Big Three has accused the union of slow-playing negotiations, but Fain thinks they waited too long to get serious. He’s pledged to send more factories to the picket line if automakers refuse to send better offers.
The union has enough in its strike funds to fuel a general strike at all three manufacturers for 11 weeks. Meanwhile, one economic group says that a 10-day strike would cost the industry $5 billion.