Sunday 10/22: Stellantis Cancels SEMA Show Plans
- Originally just affecting the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show, Stellantis has now announced that it will pull out of the 2023 SEMA Show this weekend in Las Vegas. On display was expected to be a classic Dodge Charger with an electrified twist, a Mopar-accessorized Ram Power Wagon, and likely a few more surprises relating to the future of Dodge’s muscle car plans.
Saturday 10/21: Ford Expands Layoffs
- Late Friday, well after Shawn Fain’s webcast, Ford Motor Company told another 364 employees in Michigan and Ohio not to report to work beginning Monday. These layoffs include 354 employees at the Sharonville Transmission Plant in Ohio and 10 employees at the Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti. These facilities support the Kentucky Truck plant, which has been on strike since October 11. This brings the layoff total to 660 at the Sharonville plant and 45 at the Rawsonville plant.
- The Kentucky Truck Plant builds the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty line of trucks, as well as the premium Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator full-size SUVs. The Kentucky Truck Plant is vital to the financial health of Ford Motor Company.
Friday 10/20: Detroit 3 Present UAW New Offers, Fain Holds Back Further Action
- Ahead of UAW President Shawn Fain’s livestream event on Friday afternoon, General Motors, Stellantis and Ford Motor Company submitted the terms of a new labor agreement for the union to review. The agreements were highlighted by 23 percent pay increases, and enhancements to benefits.
- Fain proceeded to threaten, but did not order further plant walkouts to UAW members, during his webcast to an audience of roughly 70,000 people.
- “There is more to be won,” Fain said. “These are already record contracts, but they come at the end of decades of record decline. So it’s not enough to be the best ever, when auto workers have gone backwards over the last two decades. That’s a very low bar.”
Thursday 10/19: UAW Strike Creates Billions In Economic Losses
- The ripple effect of the 2023 UAW Strike has been quantified, with and analysis from East Lansing consulting Anderson Economic Group estimating the first four weeks of the strike resulting in total economic losses of $7.7 billion USD, including $3.45 billion at the Detroit Three.
Wednesday 10/18: Citing UAW Strike, Stellantis Pulls Out Of CES, GM Moves Investor Day
- General Motors was planning its annual Investor Day event on November 16th, but with the UAW Strike ongoing, it would appear that the America’s largest automaker has decided to punt the event until early 2024.
- Meanwhile, Stellantis has announced the cancellation of its Consumer Electronics Show 2024 plans, “as costs of the UAW strike continue to mount.” CES takes place every year in January at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and has turned into one of the largest events on the calendar for automakers, as they retreat away from traditional auto shows.
Tuesday 10/17: GM Delaying Electric Trucks At Union Plant
- General Motors has officially announced that its original timeline to begin production of its next-generation GMC Sierra EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan to late 2025, instead of next year. While the company has cited market conditions and to “better invest capital investments,” the announcement could have something to do with the ongoing UAW negotiations.
- Unifor announces an October 29 strike deadline for Stellantis, less than two weeks away.
Monday 10/16: Bill Ford Jr. Takes To The Podium
- Current family patriarch and Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. warned that the ongoing UAW strike threatens the entire livelihood of America’s oldest automaker, as well as the American auto industry as a whole, calling for a deal and to “end this acrimonious round of talks.”
- UAW Shawn Fain rebuttled by saying: “Bill Ford knows exactly how to settle this strike. Instead of threatening to close the Rouge, he should call up Jim Farley, tell him to stop playing games and get a deal done, or we’ll close the Rouge for him,” he said in a statement. “It’s not the UAW and Ford against foreign automakers. It’s autoworkers everywhere against corporate greed. If Ford wants to be the all-American auto company, they can pay all-American wages and benefits. Workers at Tesla, Toyota, Honda, and others are not the enemy — they’re the UAW members of the future.”
Sunday 10/15: UAW Strike Hits 30-Day Mark
- The 2023 UAW Strike officially began on September 15, 2023. That’s exactly one month ago. Previously, the 2019 UAW strike against General Motors lasted 40 days, from September 15 to October 25. This historic walkout against all three Detroit Automakers is expected to push into November.
Saturday 10/14: Ford Lays Off More Workers
- Ford’s layoff count now tallies at 2,480 across various facilities as the UAW pressures America’s biggest manufacturer by footprint to make headway in its negotiations.
Friday 10/13: Strike At Random
- UAW President Shawn Fain conducted another Friday webcast, this time choosing not to expand the union’s strike at any facilities. He instead warned that the union could strike at any Detroit 3 plant at random, continuing to mess with the heads of GM, Ford and Stellantis executives.
Thursday 10/12: Detroit 3 Losing The PR Battle
- An AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll resulted in just 9 percent of participants sympathizing for the Detroit 3 automakers, and 36 percent for the United Auto Workers. 55 percent chose to support neither or both.
- Ford Motor Company says it’s “at the limit” of what it can offer the UAW in this round of negotiations.
Wednesday 10/11: UAW Strikes Ford Kentucky Truck Plant
- While UAW President Shawn Fain had so far kept plant strike announcements to his Friday webcasts, it came to a Ford’s surprise that workers would start walking out of the Kentucky Truck Plant. KTP is vital to the company’s Ford Pro operations, building the entire line of Ford Super Duty trucks from F-250 to F-550, as well as the Ford Expedition SUV and Lincoln Navigator luxury SUV. The Super Duty is a vital product for FoMoCo, and the UAW knows it.
Tuesday 10/10: Canada’s Unifor Briefly Strikes GM
- The morning of October 10th had the Unifor union in Canada striking GM’s facilities in Ontario. The most critical of them is Oshawa Assembly, which builds the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Silverado HD. Hours later, GM and Unifor were able to come to terms, avoiding a strike.
Monday 10/9: UAW Strikes Mack Truck
- The United Auto Workers working for Mack Truck voted down the tentative labor agreement, and promptly began striking the medium and heavy duty truck maker’s various facilities nationwide.
Sunday 10/8: Ford Laying Off Engine Plant Workers
- The ripple effect from the ongoing UAW strike has Ford Motor Company laying off several hundred workers. 372 of them will be from the Ford Cleveland engine plant’s I-4 division, which builds 2.0L and 2.3L EcoBoost engines. These can be found in vehicles such as the Ford Bronco Sport, Bronco SUV, and new Ford Mustang. Cleveland also builds the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the Ford F-150 and Ford Expedition, but work on the V6 remains undisturbed.
- Separately, another 184 workers have been laid off at the Ford Lima Engine plant, which builds the “Nano” 2.7L and 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engines that can be found in the Ford Bronco, Bronco Raptor, F-150 and Ranger Raptor, among others. Lima Engine also builds the Duratec V6 family of engines.
- Ford has now laid off roughly 1,800 employees related to the strike. The new round of layoffs are expected to commence on Monday, October 9.
Saturday 10/7: Fain Visits Chicago
- UAW President Shawn Fain took his road show to Chicago, where members are striking at the Ford Motor Company plant that builds the Explorer SUV, Police Interceptor, and Lincoln Aviator.
“We’ve outsmarted, we’ve out-organized corporate America and won a future for tens of thousands of workers,” Fain said. “And we’re gonna keep going until we win social and economic justice at the Big Three and beyond.”
Friday 10/6: GM Gets The Rose
- While the UAW didn’t expand its strike, as was expected, union president Shawn Fain announced that General Motors added its battery plants to its national agreement. This is a key development in negotiations between America’s largest automaker and the UAW. Fain went on to say that the UAW would have walked out of GM’s Arlington Assembly plant if not, which would have been a major blow to the automaker. Arlington Assembly currently builds the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.
- In Canada, however, GM’s negotiations with Unifor appear farther apart. The union claims that GM is “resisting” key elements in the Canadian union’s terms, which are similar to what were asked of Ford. America’s number two automaker was able to secure a bargaining agreement the week of September 24th.
Thursday 10/5: GM Proposes Sixth Counter Offer
- News has emerged that GM has brought forward another offer to the UAW, its sixth since negotiations began.
- Similarly, Reuters reports that negotiators for the UAW and Ford have narrowed their differences on pay increases after a new offer from the automaker amid “really active” talks.
- UAW President Shawn Fain is expected to give a Facebook Live update on Friday at 2:00 PM, ET, and is expected to bring “substantive bargaining updates,” teased by a Bachelorette-themed meme, posted below.
— Shawn Fain (@ShawnFainUAW) October 5, 2023
Wednesday 10/4: Collateral Damage
- Nearly a third of automotive industry suppliers have had to furlough workers due to production halting at striking UAW plants. According to the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), vehicle suppliers employ over 900,000 workers and suppliers contribute 2.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product. An exact number of laid up supply chain workers was not given.
- Ford has laid off an additional 400 workers as a result of the strike. An estimated 350 workers at Livonia Transmission have been asked not to report to work, while 50 employees at Sterling Axle have been told the same. The UAW is currently striking the Ford Chicago Assembly plant (Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator), as well as the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne (Ford Bronco, Ranger).
- GM has also laid off some 200 workers at the Toledo Propulsion Systems plant (formally called Toledo Powertrain) due to the UAW expanding its strike to the GM Lansing Delta Assembly plant, where the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse are built.
Tuesday 10/3: It’s October 3rd
- Everybody is acting like a bunch of mean girls, as the UAW sent General Motors a counteroffer to its original September 21 proposal. A GM spokesperson has said that the company is “assessing, but significant gaps remain,” while the UAW did not immediately comment.
- GM and Stellantis posted Q3 sales today, with the former up, and the latter down year over year.
Monday 10/2: More Layoffs, Billions In Economic Damage
- As a result of Friday’s UAW strike expansion, both Ford Motor Company and General Motors have gone to lay off employees, and have blamed the union for doing so. For GM, it’s an additional 164 workers, while Ford cut 300 workers. An estimated 25,000 UAW workers are currently on strike.
- Anderson Economic Group has published an analysis that estimates the economic impact of the UAW strike to now be at nearly $4 billion USD in losses, with each Detroit 3 automaker losing between $1.1 to $1.3 billion apiece.
Sunday 10/1: The First Signs Of Impact
- With the UAW strike ongoing, the Detroit 3 automakers are expected to soon release Q3 sales and financial reports in the coming days. It will be here that we see the first signs of economic and sales impact from the strike on the balance sheet. Negotiations continue.
Saturday 9/30: Day 16
- Detroit 3 executives once again take to broadcast, with Ford CEO Jim Farley telling media that the UAW is “holding the deal hostage” over EV plants. Recall that Ford has already paused construction on an EV battery plant in Michigan during these negotiations. GM CEO Mary Barra accused the union of “theatrics” in a strongly worded statement.
- UAW president Shawn Fain visited the Stellantis Jeep Toledo Assembly plant, where he told the union not to listen to external messaging.
“They’re trying to cause doubt between the membership and the leadership,” Fain told picketers at the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator plant. “They’re trying to cause division. This is how they operate. This is how people in power operate. We try to divide everybody so they can get done what they want to get done. What they’re saying is complete b——-, and it’s not going to work. We’re smarter than that.”
Friday 9/29: UAW Expands Strike To 2 Manufacturing Plants
- UAW President Shawn Fain announced Friday morning that workers would walk out of the General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant, where it builds the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, and the Ford Chicago Assembly plant, where the automaker builds the Explorer. In total, 7,000 additional workers have walked off the job.
- Stellantis avoided this round of additional walkouts, as it offered to reinstate a cost of living adjustment and meet some other union demands minutes before Fain’s Friday 10:00 AM, ET deadline
- Fain also threatened that the UAW could soon strike against Mack Truck, a division of Volvo Group. Union members have voted 98 percent to strike the medium and heavy duty truck maker, which largely centers its manufacturing operations in Lehigh, Pennsylvania.
Thursday 9/28: Head Games
- Ahead of a looming strike expansion on Friday, the UAW is reportedly in no hurry to counter-offer the Detroit Three. Sources revealed to CNBC that there’s currently a lack of urgency from the union to reach a deal, as well as a lack of participation from UAW president Shawn Fain.
- The report further indicates that the UAW is taking as long as a week to respond to offers, while giving automakers less than 24 hours to do the same, as it delivered a counter proposal a day before the planned strike expansion.
- Stellantis has indefinitely laid off more than 350 workers last week in Ohio and Indiana because of the UAW strike. Ford has furloughed 600 workers at a Michigan plant, and GM has furloughed 2,000 workers, and halted production at a Kansas plant as a result.
Wednesday 9/27: Trump Visits Michigan, UAW Threatens Strike Expansion
- Former president Donald Trump, popular among UAW workers, plans to hold a rally at Drake Enterprises, supplier located in Clinton Township, Michigan. There are some Four Seasons Total Landscaping flashbacks here, as the company does not have a unionized workforce. This begs the question why would union-popular Trump hold a rally at a non-union plant during a UAW strike. However, Drake Enterprises specializes in supplying ICE vehicles with parts, while Detroit 3 automakers intend to expand their electric vehicle portfolios in the future. This is likely to mean less parts, less manufacturing complexity, and therefore, less workers needed on the line.”It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you get because in two years you’re all going to be out of business,” Trump said at the rally, which included union workers in the audience. He further said that “if you want to buy an electric car, that’s absolutely fine. I’m all for it. But we should not be forcing consumers to buy electric vehicles they don’t want to buy.”
- According to Reuters, the UAW will expand the reach of its strike by Friday, September 29 if “serious progress” isn’t made in labor negotiations. UAW President Shawn Fain reportedly plans to announce new targets at 10:00 AM, ET on Friday, and workers will then walk out of those sites at noon. The outlet adds that the UAW is expected to continue the walkouts currently underway until a new contract is ratified. The UAW and the Detroit 3 reportedly remain far apart in their negotiations.
- Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson, currently polling at 1 percent, stopped at Detroit Metro Airport to say that Trump will “mislead” American workers.
Tuesday, 9/26: Biden And Trump Fighting For American Worker Votes In Swing State Of Michigan
- President Biden arrives in Michigan, and will visit the UAW picket line in Wayne County where workers are striking outside of the General Motors Willow Run Redistribution center in Belleville. The facility serves as a GM customer care and aftersales storage hub, supporting vehicles from cradle to grave, processing up to 120 million parts per year.
- Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner among Republicans in the 2024 presidential race, is scheduled to hold an rally Wednesday night at an auto supplier Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township, Michigan. Its labor force is not unionized.
- The UAW continues to withhold a presidential endorsement, even as President Shawn Fain has publicly expressed disdain for the former president. Meanwhile, workers on the floor have supported Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
- Detroit Three investors have begun voicing that they’re willing to forgo stock buybacks if it meant a swifter end to the UAW strike.
Monday, 9/25: Ford May Have Sacrificed A Battery Plant
- Ford Motor Company pauses construction of its controversial EV battery plant in Marshall Twp, MI. A joint venture with China-based CATL, it could be seen as a means to improve optics during the UAW negotiations, or was used as collective bargaining chip. The union has vocalized concerns over new battery and EV plants, due to the smaller workforce needed to operate them.
Sunday, 9/24: Ford Avoids Unifor Strike
- Canada’s Unifor ratifies a three-year labor deal with Ford Motor Company. The Canadian union is expected to target General Motors next.
- The new labor deal will raise worker wages more than 19% over the course of the contract, including the single largest negotiated general wage increase in Unifor history. It will help employees reach top-scale pay faster, add new investment in the Essex Engine plant in Windsor, and prevent Ford’s three Windsor plants — Essex, Windsor Engine and Oakville Assembly — from closing over the life of the three-year agreement. The latter of the three is currently expected to become the “Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex,” and how this plays into the Unifor deal is unclear at this time.
Saturday, 9/23: Day 9
Friday, 9/22: Have Some Chaos
- The UAW has motioned to strike some 38 parts plants, and will likely have major ripple effects for vehicle production, as well as customer service at dealerships. The union is targeting only General Motors and Stellantis parts plants at this time, leaving Ford Motor Company parts plants alone. This suggests that Ford, with the largest UAW workforce among the Detroit Three, has made greater headway in its UAW negotiations than either GM or Stellantis.
- The UAW parts plant strike will spread across 20 states, while 13 parts plants are found in Michigan alone.
- The White House has announced that President Joe Biden will address UAW workers on Tuesday.
Thursday, 9/21: More Striking Expected
- The Detroit News reports that UAW President Shawn Fain will host a Facebook live event at 10 a.m. Friday where he’s expected to call on members at other plants to “stand up” and strike. Currently, 12,700 UAW workers are striking between the Stellantis Toledo Assembly, Ford Michigan Assembly, and GM Wentzville Assembly.
Wednesday, 9/20: Ford Avoids Strike With Unifor
- Representing Canadian workers, Unifor has reached a “historic” tentative agreement with Ford Motor Company. The new tentative agreement covers members of Unifor Locals 707, 200, 584, 1087, 240 and 1324 at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Plant, Annex and Essex Engine Plants in Windsor, Ontario in addition to Parts Distribution Centres in Bramalea, Paris and Casselman in Ontario and Leduc, Alberta. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers.
- Stellantis said it was “immediately” laying off 68 workers at its machining plant outside Toledo as a result of the UAW’s strike at its Wrangler and Gladiator plant. Hundreds more at the Toledo machining facility could be laid off next. From there, Stellantis said it anticipates another estimated 300 layoffs at Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting in Indiana.
Tuesday, 9/19: Day 5
Monday, 9/18: Biden Administration Butting In, UAW Says It’s Not Seeking Help From White House
- The White House has made an attempt to involve itself with the UAW negotiations with the Detroit 3 automakers. UAW President Shawn Fain has shrugged it off in a CNBC interview.
- President Joe Biden said on Friday that he would send acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House senior advisor Gene Sperling to Detroit to help mediate the negotiations.
Sunday, 9/17: Detroit Three Begin Layoffs
- Ford Motor Company has temporarily laid off workers at the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan. This facility builds the Ford Bronco SUV and Ranger.
Saturday 9/16: Detroit Three Fire Up The PR Machine, Biden Chimes In
The CEOs and other prominent executives of General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Stellantis make rounds on just about every major news network and business outlet. The sentiment is that this strike should be avoided, and that it “hurts everybody” and that it “didn’t need to happen.” Meanwhile, X (formally twitter), owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, temporarily removed the UAW’s blue check verification status per its policy on profile picture changes. The timing is funny, especially since Musk has no skin in this game, metaphorically speaking. No Tesla plant is unionized in the USA.
Other outlets have come out with more positive articles toward the UAW, highlighting the discrepancy between CEO and executive pay to each company’s average worker pay. Indeed the pay gaps are significant.
Friday, 9/15: The UAW Strikes Against GM, Ford & Stellantis
As expected, the United Auto Workers have motioned to strike against all Detroit Three automakers, as current contracts expired at the stroke of midnight ET, on Friday, September 15. This is the first time in UAW history that the union has launched a strike against GM, Stellantis and Ford at once.
If you’re into American performance cars and trucks (why would you be here otherwise?), a full-on UAW and Unifor strike could and would affect several important nameplates, including those that are already on their way out. This would include the Dodge Charger and Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, F-150, Ram 1500, Silverado HD, Sierra HD, GM full-size SUVs, Ford Super Duties, Ford Explorer, Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Some Silverado and Sierra 1500s, Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wagoneer, Dodge Durango, Ford Ranger, Ford Mustang, Ford Bronco, and the Corvette.
However, that’s not currently the case. Despite the historic moment of striking against all Detroit Three automakers, the UAW is only picketing outside of three plants at the time of this writing. This includes the GM Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri (Chevrolet Colorado and Express, GMC Canyon and Savana), The Ford Michigan Assembly plant (Ford Ranger, Bronco), and the Stellantis Toledo Assembly plant (Jeep Wrangler, Gladiator). There’s always potential for more strikes to take place at any place at any time, but that’s not the case just yet.
Detroit Three Counter Offers To The UAW
The last known offers from GM and Ford were ten percent raises over four years with lump sum annual payments in the years that raises are not awarded. Meanwhile, the last known offer from Stellantis was raises of 14.5 percent over four years with no lump sums for wages. All three companies offered lump sums in other areas to cover inflation and a bonus for ratifying a contract.
However, the UAW isn’t budging.
But that’s not the only thing employees are fighting for, as the union is seeking an end to varying tiers of wages for factory jobs, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, the restoration of traditional defined-benefit pensions for new hires who now receive only 401(k)-style retirement plans; and a return of cost-of-living pay raises, among other benefits. However, it appears the most crucial part of the strike for the union is allowing workers to be represented at ten electric vehicle battery factories, most of which are being built by joint ventures between automakers and South Korean battery makers. The union wants those plants to receive top UAW wages. This is partly because workers currently making components for internal combustion engines will need a place to work as the auto industry transitions to electric vehicles.