United Auto Workers Union went on strike Thursday at three vehicle assembly plants, as it pressures Detroit companies to come up with better wage and benefits offers.
Factories include a General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, a Ford factory in Wayne Michigan near Detroit, and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.
The contract between 146,000 auto workers and the companies expired at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Employees in all other plants will continue to work.
Despite increased offers from Ford and GM, no deal was reached before contacts ended.
Fenn said that for the first time in the union’s 88-year history, the UAW has gone on strike at all three companies at the same time.
About 13,000 workers walked off the job at the three plants.
Fenn said more walkouts could be planned if the companies do not move forward on bargaining.
The union has a list of demands that includes a 36% wage increase over four years, a cost of living increase and an end to different pay tiers for workers. Ford and GM next offered 20% during the contract, while Stellantis’s last known offer was 17.5%.
The companies say the union has not responded to their latest proposals and call the union’s demands unreasonable. They fear increased costs at a time when they have to spend billions developing and manufacturing new electric vehicles, as well as making automobiles with internal combustion engines.
The Ford plant targeted employs about 4,600 workers and makes the Bronco SUV and Ranger mid-size pickup trucks.
The Toledo Jeep complex has approximately 4,200 employees and produces the Jeep Wrangler SUV and Gladiator pickup.
GM’s Wentzville plant has about 4,100 employees and makes the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickups, as well as the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express full-size vans.