LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Stellantis has responded to the United Auto Workers’ strike expansion at the Sterling Heights plant.
United Auto Workers has stood up almost 7,000 autoworkers at the Sterling Heights Stellantis plant to join the strike against the Big Three.
The plant produces the automaker’s best-seller, the Dodge Ram pickup truck.
In a social media message, the UAW wrote, “BREAKING: 6,800 Local 1700 autoworkers join the UAW’s Stand Up Strike at Stellantis’s largest plant, Sterling Heights Assembly!”
This comes three days after UAW President Shawn Fain reported progress in talks with General Motors and Stellantis but said the companies will have to make better offers. No progress was reported with Ford, which last week said it had the best offer of the Big Three.
This brings the total number of striking union members to more than 40,000. The move to target one of Stellantis’ most profitable plants is nothing new. As earlier this month, the UAW announced a strike against Ford’s most profitable plant in Kentucky.
Fain says he’s tired of hearing that Stellantis can’t afford to meet the union’s demands.
“They made a quarter of a trillion dollars in the last decade. Stellantis alone made $12 billon dollars in the first six months of this year. They can afford this. They can make it happen. Our workers deserve their share. While they say they cant afford this, the next day they announce new dividends to shareholders,” Fain said.
Stellantis responded to the strike with the following statement:
“We are outraged that the UAW has chosen to expand its strike action against Stellantis. Last Thursday morning, Stellantis presented a new, improved offer to the UAW, including 23% wage increases over the life of the contract, nearly a 50% increase in our contributions to the retirement savings plan, and additional job security protections for our employees. Following multiple conversations that appeared to be productive, we left the bargaining table expecting a counter-proposal, but have been waiting for one ever since.
Our very strong offer would address member demands and provide immediate financial gains for our employees. Instead, the UAW has decided to cause further harm to the entire automotive industry as well as our local, state and national economies. The UAW’s continued disturbing strategy of “wounding” all the Detroit 3 will have long-lasting consequences.
With every decision to strike, the UAW sacrifices domestic market share to non-union competition. These actions not only decrease our market share, but also impact our profitability and therefore, our ability to compete, invest and preserve the record profit sharing payments our employees have enjoyed over the past two years.”