It’s been two weeks since the UAW initiated a strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Since then, the union has escalated its strike to include GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers, but opted to spare Ford due to progress made in contract talks. This week, it appears relations between Ford and the union have soured, as UAW President Shawn Fain announced on social media this morning that the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant will be shut down at 12 PM today as part of the next phase of the targeted strike.
UAW President Shawn Fain Livestream Update 9/29/23 https://t.co/6TtSoViarO
— UAW (@UAW) September 29, 2023
The latest phase of the strike will involve 7,000 UAW workers walking out of Ford Chicago Assembly plant and GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant, as Fain says both companies have not satisfied the union’s demands. Stellantis is not part of this next phase since the union says the automaker has offered a new contract that represents progress in ongoing talks. This next phase means that Ford and GM will not be able to produce their three row crossovers. For the Blue Oval, Chicago is responsible for the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, while GM’s Lansing facility produces the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave.
These plants represent the fourth and fifth assembly sites to be impacted by the ongoing strike. Currently, the Ford Michigan Assembly plant, which manufactures the Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger, is shut down. GM has been unable to produce the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon with Wentzville being taken offline, and Stellantis cannot assemble the Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler since its Toledo facility was also shut down as part of the first phase of the strike. Last week, UAW workers at 38 parts distribution centers across 20 states walked out, an action that impacted GM and Stellantis, but not Ford.
It is unclear exactly where Ford stands with the UAW at this point, but given this morning’s announcement, it appears both parties are at an impasse. Relations potentially broke down earlier this week when Ford announced it had stopped construction at the Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan site, which Fain subsequently panned, although it is unclear if that development is a prime sticking point for the union. Ford has announced a news conference at 1PM to update the public on the status of its negotiations with the UAW.