Only 13,000 of 146,000 auto workers at the Big 3 companies are on strike, so far. But others still on the job are turning up the heat by refusing voluntary overtime.
At all three companies—Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis—Auto Workers (UAW) members have told Labor Notes about overtime refusals. Many Big 3 plants are hugely dependent on overtime to make up for understaffing.
The strike is on. Last night the Auto Workers (UAW) shut down three major assembly plants at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler). It’s the first time in history the union has struck all three companies at once.
Tick, tock. At midnight the clock ran out, and auto workers massed on picket lines.
The first-ever simultaneous strike at the Big 3 automakers—General Motors, Ford, Stellantis—started September 15 with 13,000 workers walking out of three assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri. There are 146,000 Auto Workers (UAW) members at the Big 3.
The UAW is calling its strategy the “stand-up strike,” a nod to the Flint sit-down strike of 1936-1937 that helped establish the union.
“I wish to be like eggs,” said Abdullah Saleem, in his third week of striking Constellium Automotive west of Detroit. “You know how eggs used to be a dollar a dozen and now they’re $4,” said Saleem, who has 11 years working at the plant. Pointing to the $18.60 that’s the usual pay for a Constellium operator, Saleem wants his wage to show the same progress as eggs.
The machine will churn no more. Nearly 80 years of top-down one-party rule in the United Auto Workers are coming to an end. Reformer Shawn Fain is set to be the winner in the runoff for the UAW presidency.
As of Thursday night, Fain had a 505-vote edge, 69,386 to 68,881, over incumbent Ray Curry of the Administration Caucus. Curry was appointed by the union’s executive board in 2021. There are around 600 unresolved challenged ballots. (This story will be updated with the final vote tally when we have it.)