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UAW Regional Director: ‘Don’t listen to the lies’ as historic auto strike is announced

UAW leadership announces strike locations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — United Auto Workers went on strike at three assembly plants across the midwest Friday after a contract was not agreed upon by midnight.

Those locations are General Motors Wentzville Assembly Local 2250, in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex Local 12, in Ohio and Ford Michigan Assembly, final assembly and paint workers only, Local 900 in Wayne, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

Indiana will not be affected in the first wave.

This is part of a strategy from leadership called a Stand-up Strike. Under this method, only certain locations will be called to strike initially while all other union locations will be asked to work under an expired contract.

As negotiations continue other members will be called upon to strike at Stellantis, GM, and Ford. Union leaders say this plan creates more leverage for the union as they negotiate because a gradual escalation keeps the leaders at the big three on their toes.

UAW Region 2B Director David Green did not share the strategy behind when different types of plants will shut down.

“The goal isn’t to strike,” Green told News 8. “We want to get a fair and equitable contract for our members but by doing it this way, on a slow scale, I believe it’s gonna give our bargaining team the turbo charge, the extra power and support they need at the bargaining table to get the contract that we’re looking for.”

He encourages people to remember cars made with cheaper labor in other countries sit on the lot at the same price as American-made cars.

“The labor cost in a vehicle is about 4% right now. So don’t listen to the lies that the workers make more money than the vehicles cost more,” Green said. “The cars and trucks that are made in Mexico aren’t any cheaper than the cars and trucks that are made here in America.”

Green says members want to receive fair pay for their work.

“Our goal here isn’t to hurt the companies or cause any harm,” Green said. “We want to have workplaces to go back to but when they’re making billions of dollars in record profits our members are just looking to get up to speed with that.”

Green shared that stretching out the strike like this also helps the union make the strike fund last longer. Striking members are given $500 dollars a week while they are not being paid. This money is set aside from union dues to help members if a strike occurs.

News 8 will have updates on the next wave of strike locations as they are announced and when Indiana will be affected.

You can view the latest updates from the Big 3 below.