The United Auto Workers (UAW) has expanded its strike to include 8,700 Ford workers as they take on major automobile manufacturers.
The workers are from Ford’s largest and most profitable facility, and surprised the company Wednesday when they walked off the job as part of a previously unannounced strike. The Truck Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky is where F-250 and F-550 trucks are built, as well as certain SUVs.
The union announced the walkout "after Ford refuse[d] to make further movement in bargaining."
Union members at assembly plants in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio went on strike after their contracts expired Sept. 15. The UAW has dubbed the strike the "Stand Up Strike," which targets plants of the area's three largest automakers; Ford Motor Co., General Motors, and Stellantis.
The UAW is asking for a wage increase of 36 percent over the next four to five years in compensation for years of stagnant wages and record company profits. UAW President Shawn Fain said Ford “hasn’t gotten the message” about what workers need.
“We have been crystal clear, and we have waited long enough, but Ford has not gotten the message,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s time for a fair contract at Ford and the rest of the Big Three. If they can’t understand that after four weeks, the 8,700 workers shutting down this extremely profitable plant will help them understand it.”
Biden joins UAW picket line
“Wall Street didn’t build the country. The middle class built the country. Unions built the middle class,” Biden told workers. “Let’s keep going. You deserve what you’ve earned, and you deserve a hell of a lot more than what you’re getting paid now.”