(NationalUSNews.com) — On Wednesday, October 11th, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union ordered almost 9,000 workers at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant to walk off the job. They were sent alerts at 5:44 p.m. ahead of their 6 p.m. shift. They had been informed that they were to join the Stand Up Strike because the union was frustrated with the lack of progress on their demands with Ford.
The Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, makes the popular Ford Expedition, the Lincoln Navigator SUVs, and the Ford F-Series Super Duty. In a public statement released on X, formerly known as Twitter, the company calls the walkout “grossly irresponsible”. They also described the offer they presented to the UAW as outstanding and said that their union workers are already among the “best compensated hourly manufacturing workers in the world”. However, they claim to be negotiating in good faith and believe their current offer would make a “meaningful positive difference” in their workers’ quality of life.
UAW President Shawn Fain does not agree. He says Ford is not taking their workers seriously and that this new offer is the same one the UAW rejected two weeks prior. The strike against Ford, General Motors, and Jeep manufacturer Stellantis began in various locations on September 15, when contracts for 150,000 autoworker members of the UAW expired. Fain says that corporate America has rebounded from the Great Recession and has been experiencing record profits. He insists that they are asking for protections to be returned to workers who gave them up to save the auto industry.
The Kentucky Truck Plant is one of the largest automobile factories in the world and represents $25 billion a year in revenue. The sudden walk-out on October 11 is an escalation of the UAW’s “stand-up” strike strategy, in which workers strike at individual plants rather than a full auto-workers strike. However, this is a deliberate escalation, as UAW President Shawn Fain says that the company no longer controls the rules and that the UAW is changing them. He places the blame for negotiations stalling out firmly on Ford, adding that “It’s on them. They have to own it.”
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