UAW strike against Big 3 auto plants could impact Miami Valley

MORAINE — A strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers (General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford) is underway after their contract with the United Auto Workers expired late Thursday night with no new deal.

>>ORIGINAL STORY: About 13,000 workers go on strike seeking better wages and benefits from Detroit’s three automakers

The strike impacts nearly 150,000 UAW affiliated workers who are seeking a new contract. However only a fraction, around 13,000 workers, have actually walked off the job as part of a strategy by the UAW. Union president Shawn Fain told CNN the union could grow the strike if if the automakers refuse to meet workers’ demands.

It’s the first time ever the UAW went on strike against all three U.S. car companies at the same time.

There is no UAW plant here in the Miami Valley, but economists say this will impact the entire country.

>>RELATED: UAW poised for midnight strike at plants in Wayne, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio, and Wentzville, Missouri

News Center 7′s Xavier Hershovitz reported live Friday morning from DMAX in Moraine, which is owned by GM, and supplies diesel engines.

DMAX workers are not part of the UAW Strike, but with assembly lines shut down, the impact of this strike could trickle down to them.

Hershovitz spoke Thursday with Patrick Anderson, President of the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA).

He said it is likely a strike will impact some manufacturers here but won’t have a major impact on the Dayton region’s manufacturing industry entirely.

>>RELATED: Why the United Auto Workers union is poised to strike major US car makers

Hershovitz reports the UAW is doing a targeted strike focused on three key plants, including the Stellantis Toledo assembly plant.

The other two plants are the GM Wentzville Assembly, Local 2250 in Missouri, and the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant, Local 900 in Michigan.

Union leaders say they will then expand if necessary.

“It’s a dangerous thing to say, you’re going to strike just some plants, but not others because that’s not how the industry can operate,” said Anderson. “And you will see more than just those plants shut down.”

>>RELATED: UAW chief says offers from Detroit companies are inadequate, says union is ready to go on strike

Hershovitz says the UAW is seeking up to a 40% raise. Other items include a 32-hour work week and the return of pensions.

Those are all on-starters for the Big Three automakers.

The UAW also wants to phase out concessions made in 2008 when carmakers nearly collapsed.

“What their initial offer was, is to pay our hourly workers about $300,000 each, and to work four days,” said Jim Farley, Ford CEO. “That would basically put our company out of business.”

>>RELATED: UAW’s clash with Big 3 automakers shows off a more confrontational union as strike deadline looms

Hershovitz says UAW workers in Toledo are standing together.

“I didn’t think this was going to happen,” said Candace Bowles, a striking Toledo Stellantis worker. “I’m really happy that everybody stood together, and it was a unanimous kind of thing to strike.”

“As long as it takes for us to get a fair contract,” said Leticia Hummer, a striking Toledo Stallantis worker. “I want to look out for my brothers and sisters.”

>>RELATED: 4-day workweek, 46% raise: UAW makes ‘audacious’ demands ahead of possible strike against Big 3 automakers

Hershovitz says back in 2019 when the UAW was on strike against GM, DMAX workers were temporarily laid off while no vehicles were getting made.

It is unclear at this point how long a strike could go before impacting workers in Moraine.

Workers at the Sharonville Ford plant are not part of this initial strike currently, according to our news partner WCPO in Cincinnati.

But that could change the longer this strike goes.

News Center 7 will provide updates on any potential agreement reached between the UAW and the Big 3 automakers.

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