UAW strike expands again, as 8,700 workers walk off profitable Ford plant
Kentucky Truck Plant generates $25B in annual revenue
There are now 37,700 United Auto Workers members on strike, after 8,700 workers at a Ford Motor Co. factory in Kentucky joined the union’s strike Wednesday night.
The 2023 strike is a “stand up” strike, says UAW President Shawn Fain, because specific facilities are being targeted for strikes, not all facilities. As The Associated Press reports, the Kentucky Truck Plant is “the largest and most profitable Ford plant in the world,” building Ford pickup trucks and SUVs. Ford says the plant builds vehicles that generate $25 billion in annual revenue.
The strike started Sept. 15 at one factory of each Big Three automaker: Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. It has grown since. President Joe Biden walked the picket line with workers two weeks ago.
Workers walked off the Kentucky Truck Plant at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, after a reported meeting between Fain’s Ford bargaining team met and company leadership at Ford headquarters in Dearborn. The automaker agreed to bring electric vehicles under its master agreement, a concession which Fain hailed as a negotiation win with GM Friday, when he did not expand the strike. But Fain said Ford’s financial offer had not changed from two weeks earlier.
In a 90-second video posted to X hours after the strike, Fain explained the escalation, using Ford headquarters as his backdrop.
“They’re not taking it serious,” Fain said. “We’ve been very patient working with the company on this, but at the end of the day, they have not met expectations.”
Ford blasted the move.
“The decision by the UAW to call a strike at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant is grossly irresponsible but unsurprising given the union leadership’s stated strategy of keeping the Detroit 3 wounded for months through ‘reputational damage’ and ‘industrial chaos,’” the company said in a statement. “This decision by the UAW is all the more wrongheaded given that Ford is the only automaker to add UAW jobs since the Great Recession and assemble all of its full-size trucks in America.”
Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.