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UAW expands strike, still does not include Fort Wayne workers

UAW President Shawn Fain provides update on UAW strike against Chrysler-owner Stellantis, General Motors, and Ford
UAW President Shawn Fain provides update on UAW strike against Chrysler owner Stellantis, General Motors and Ford

The United Auto Workers union added 7,000 members on Friday to its strike against General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler-owner Stellantis, but again no Indiana union members were called up.

With the addition of Ford’s Chicago Assembly and GM’s Lansing Delta Township plants, the total number of UAW striking members was expanded to 25,000 across the country. UAW President Shawn Fain clarified in Friday’s announcement that Lansing’s regional stamping plant would remain in operation.

That came as a relief to Local 2209 President Holli Murphy who represents the union workers at GM Fort Wayne Assembly. Murphy said she was anxious going into Friday’s announcement.

“I’m relieved,” Murphy said. “I think we’re all relieved that we’re not striking at Fort Wayne Assembly.”

With the announcement that Lansing’s regional stamping plant would remain in opposition, Murphy felt comfortable that work would continue as normal for Fort Wayne Assembly because that Lansing location is one of Fort Wayne Assembly’s primary suppliers.

In his announcement, Fain said the union had made “tremendous progress” with Stellantis, but not with Ford and GM. In his previous announcement, Fain said progress had been made with Ford but not Stellantis and GM.

As a result of the progress with Ford this time, no Ford locations were added in this third wave of strike locations.

As president of a GM local, Murphy took notice that in both announcements, little if any progress had been made with GM.

“It sounds like they’re making progress with Chrysler at the moment,” Murphy said. “Last week, it was Ford. Still nothing with GM at the moment. So, (I’m) not sure how to take that.”

In a statement, GM said in part “Calling more strikes is just for the headlines, not real progress. The number of people negatively impacted by these strikes is growing and includes our customers who buy and love the products we build.”

Fain said in his announcement “A union that’s not prepared to strike is like a fighter with one hand tied behind his back. Without the strike weapon, the war on workers is a rigged fight.”

Murphy said that while no one wants to strike, she and her membership are ready for when they are called up.

Fain is expected to announce more locations next Friday.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.