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Autoworkers threaten Big Three with more walkouts

“We’re entering a new phase of this fight, and it demands a new approach,” Fain said in livestreamed remarks.  

 

“We’re done waiting until Fridays to escalate our strike. Today, we’re not announcing an expansion of our strike, but we are prepared at any time to call on more locals to stand up and walk out.” 

 

Another 8,700 workers walked off the job at a Ford truck plant in Kentucky on Wednesday, bringing the total number of union workers on strike close to 34,000

 

The decision to launch the surprise strike at Ford’s largest and most profitable facility came after the company refused to negotiate further on wage demands, the union said. 

 

“We’re not messing around, and negotiation requires both sides making movement,” Fain said, noting that the Kentucky plant generates $48,000 in revenue per minute for Ford. 

 

“If they’re not ready to move, then we’re going to give them a push in a language they understand — dollars and cents.” 

 

When the UAW strike began after the union’s contract with the Big Three automakers — Ford, Stellantis and General Motors (GM) — expired Sept. 14, Fain initially called on a small number of workers to strike. The strike has since expanded. 

 

Last week, Fain chose not to expand the strike after GM agreed to include workers at electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing plants in its union contract, a major victory for the auto workers. 

 

GM’s last-minute offer was the latest move in a series of down-to-the-wire negotiations ahead of the union’s regularly scheduled Friday update, which Fain announced the union planned to move away from. 

 

“[Ford] stopped being interested in reaching a fair deal now and only became interested in gaming our system of announcing strike expansions on Friday. They thought they figured out the so-called rules of the game, so we changed the rules,” Fain said. 

 

“When I tell all of you members to be ready to stand up, I mean it,” Fain added. 

 

The Hill’s Julia Shapero has more here.

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