6,800 Autoworkers Join the UAW’s Stand Up Strike at Stellantis’ Largest Plant
UAW leadership standing with Local 1700 members on strike at the Sterling Heights Assembly picket line -- image via the UAW on Twitter
The United Auto Workers (UAW) made a surprise strike announcement Monday, October 23:
On Monday morning, 6,800 UAW members at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) joined the Stand Up Strike, shutting down production at Stellantis’ largest plant and biggest moneymaker.
The workers who make Stellantis’ best-selling RAM 1500 trucks are joining the unprecedented Stand Up Strike at all three of the Big Three automakers. The move comes just days after UAW President Shawn Fain detailed the current proposals across the automakers, highlighting the shortcomings of Stellantis’ current offer.
Despite having the highest revenue, the highest profits (North American and global), the highest profit margins, and the most cash in reserve, Stellantis lags behind both Ford and General Motors in addressing the demands of their UAW workforce. Currently, Stellantis has the worst proposal on the table regarding wage progression, temporary worker pay and conversion to full-time, cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), and more.
The unannounced walkout at SHAP brings the total number of UAW members on strike at the Big Three automakers to over 40,000, as the strike nears the six-week mark.
The Stand Up Strike is a new approach to striking. It is the first time the union has struck all Big Three automakers at the same time. But instead of all 150,000 UAW autoworkers walking out at once, select locals have been called on to “Stand Up” and strike.
The strike began on Sept. 15 with a walkout against three assembly plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. It has since grown to include seven assembly plants and 38 parts distribution centers in 22 states.
This is the second time that the UAW has launched a surprise strike against a plant. During the first month of the strike, the union set a deadline in advance and expanded the strike if an automaker failed to make progress toward a fair agreement. That phase of the strike did produce significant movement, but then the Big Three began to slow walk bargaining until just before each deadline.
On Oct. 11, the UAW began a new phase of the Stand Up Strike when it launched a surprise strike against Ford’s iconic and highly profitable Kentucky Truck Plant. In that unannounced move, 8,700 UAW members walked off the job at 6:30 p.m. and shut down the Louisville, Ky. plant.
Ford, GM and Stellantis made a quarter-trillion dollars in North American profits over the last decade. They made a combined $21 billion in total profits in just the first six months of this year. And yet all of them are still refusing to settle contracts that give workers a fair share of the record profits they’ve earned.