34,000 autoworkers now on strike, including those at UAW 2250
By SHERI GASSAWAY
United Auto Workers unexpectedly expanded its Stand Up Strike last week at one of Ford Motor’s highly profitable SUV and truck plants in Louisville, Ky., where 8,700 workers walked off the job.
“We’re not messing around,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a livestream video to members on Friday, Oct. 13. “A negotiation requires both sides making movement. If they’re not ready to move, we’re going to give them a push in a language they understand – dollars and cents.”
The Louisville Ford strike took place Wednesday, Oct. 11 after Ford requested a Zoom meeting with UAW officials on a new contract. However, Fain said the offer turned out to be the same contract the UAW rejected two weeks earlier.
34,000 AUTOWORKERS NOW ON STRIKE
The UAW Stand Up Strike, the first strike against all Big Three automakers at the same time, is now in its fifth week, with some 34,000 UAW autoworkers out of 146,000 now on strike. The initial action Sept. 14 included strikes at a Ford and Stellantis plant and the GM Assembly plant in Wentzville.
Autoworkers are seeking a 40 percent increase in wages over a four year contract – roughly the same compensation CEOs at the Big Three have received in the last four years. They are also seeking an end to tiers, cost of living adjustments and a 32-hour workweek.
Previously, Fain was announcing planned strikes and actions in Friday livestream videos to members, which is why Wednesday’s announcement came as a surprise. The companies were waiting until Fridays to make their offers.
“This time, we didn’t wait till Friday, and we didn’t wait a minute,” Fain said. “They (Ford) thought they figured out the so-called rules of the game, so we changed the rules. And now there’s only one rule – pony up.
“We’re entering a new phase in this fight, and it demands a new approach. We’re done waiting until Friday to escalate. Today, we’re not announcing an expansion of our strike, but we are prepared at any time to call on more locals to stand up and walk out.”
Shortly after the walkout, Ford put out a statement about how unfair the action was and admitted that the Louisville plant generates $25 billion in revenue a year, which Fain said is $48,000 a minute. “Our labor at Kentucky truck generates more revenue each minute than what thousands of our members make in a year,” Fain added.
HEAD TO THE PICKET LINE
Fain called on all UAW members and allies to head to a picket line to “celebrate these members who are leading the way – not just for our Big Three members or just for the UAW, but for the entire working class.”
If you would like to join UAW Local 2250 on the picket line, stop by one of five gates at the GM Wentzville Assembly plant at 1500 State Highway A, Wentzville, Mo.
UAW members at Mack Trucks on strike after rejecting tentative agreement
After voting by 73 percent to reject a tentative agreement, nearly 4,000 UAW members at Mack Trucks in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida walked out on strike Oct. 9.
“I’m inspired to see UAW members at Mack Trucks holding out for a better deal, and ready to stand up and walk off the job to win it,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “The members have the final say, and it’s their solidarity and organization that will win a fair contract at Mack.”
Many topics remain at issue, including wage increases, cost of living allowances, job security, wage progression, skilled trades, shift premium, holiday schedules, work schedules, health and safety, seniority, pensions, 401(k) plans, health care and prescription drug coverage, and overtime.
UAW locals 171, 677, 1247, 2301 and 2420 in UAW Region 8 and Region 9 represent workers at Mack Trucks in Macungie and Middletown, Pa., Hagerstown and Baltimore, Md., and Jacksonville, Fla. The Mack Trucks strikers bring the total number of striking International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America members to over 30,000 workers across 22 states.
How you can help UAW Local 2250 members
• Individual chips
• Drink packets
• Prepackaged snacks
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Cleaning products
• Toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, men’s and women’s deodorant
• Diapers (low on size 4 and 5), wipes, formula
• Cat/dog/pet food
• Feminine products – pads and tampons
• Laundry detergent pods
• Small bottles of dish soap, dish washer pods
• Apples and oranges
• Hot dogs/buns