For the first time in history, the United Auto Workers has launched a strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler — all at once. UAW President Shawn Fein announced targeted strikes at three facilities: a General Motors plant in Wentzville, Missouri; a Stellantis complex in Toledo, Ohio; and a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan. The action could grow to more locations in the coming days to ramp up pressure on the companies. “The members are fired up, and we’re ready and we’re united,” says electrician Marcelina Pedraza, a member of UAW Local 551 at a Ford assembly plant in Chicago. “This is an important moment in history for us to win back a lot of the things we’ve lost in these past few years.” As the three auto companies made a combined $21 billion in profits in the first six months of 2023, the UAW is looking to take back contract benefits they conceded in the 2008 financial crisis so manufacturers would not go bankrupt. “That partnership was a poison pill for workers. The UAW new leadership knows that,” says labor reporter Alex Press, who sees this strike as the labor movement “not just clawing back concessions, but going on the offensive.”
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