Striking autoworkers in the United States are threatening to expand their strike to more plants if significant progress is not made by Friday.
The United Automobile Workers (UAW) have been on strike since September 14 at a Ford assembly plant in Michigan, a General Motors plant in Missouri and a Stellantis plant in Ohio. This marks the first time that all Big Three automakers have been hit with strikes simultaneously.
The strikers’ primary concern is the companies’ alleged reluctance to share record profits, as well as the imposed tiered pay structure, which pays newer workers far less than their veteran counterparts working the same job. Workers are asking for a decreased pay gap, as well as additional benefits.
The Big Three proposed 20% raises over the 4½-year term of their proposed deals, though that is only half of what the UAW is demanding through 2027.
The automotive companies have warned that a continued strike could result in other companies along the supply chain being forced to lay off employees. U.S. Steel Corporation is temporarily idling a blast furnace in Granite City, Illinois. GM is expected to keep operations running for at least one more day at an assembly plant in Kansas City, Missouri, but will likely idle the plant after that.
President Joe Biden has publicly supported the UAW, and according to a CNBC report, originally planned to send two top officials to Detroit to help with negotiations. However Biden has indicated he will no longer be sending anyone to the city.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.