Posted September 23, 2023
Friday, September 22 — As the UAW strike enters the second week, President Shawn Fain pointed to the enthusiastic picket lines at the three plants that are on strike. Strikers at plants within an hour of each other — Stellantis’ Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio, and at Ford’s Michigan Assembly in Metro Detroit — organized caravans to each other’s plants to express their solidarity.
Fain also noted the solidarity messages from around the world, with Italian Stellantis workers striking their plant and Mexican autoworkers holding a rally in Mexico City.
Fain then outlined the state of negotiations since the strike began and pointed to significant progress in the negotiations with Ford, while noting that GM and Stellantis negotiations barely moved.
So far, Ford has agreed to move all temporary workers to permanent status after 90 working days, eliminate the lower-waged tier in parts distribution, reinstate cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) suspended in 2009, and offered a two-year job security package for laid-off workers.
Perhaps most importantly, Ford was willing to include the right to strike over plant closings in an upcoming contract. While all these elements illustrate Ford’s serious negotiations, Fain pointed out that there is still more on the table.
On the other hand, the only issue GM has moved on is agreeing that workers in parts distribution facilities can be paid the rate of assembly workers. In talks with GM and Stellantis there has been no movement on COLA, use of temporary workers or job security.
Striking the “Cash Cow”
As a result of this lack of significant progress, the UAW will strike all of GM and Stellantis’ parts facilities as of noon today. This amounts to 5,625 workers at 38 locations across 20 states and nine UAW regions.
While the number of workers at each site is small in comparison to an assembly plant, this sector comprises an extremely profitable part of automakers’ business. Some reporters have described the parts subsidiary, where the majority of the workforce makes less than assembly workers, as a “cash cow.” (See Big 3 Focus on Auto Parts Centers in Strike Prep)
GM invested $20.5 million in three Customer Care and Aftersales (CCA) facilities in Tennessee and Michigan and recently announced another $100 million makeover for the Davison Road Processing Center (listed below), where 756,000 parts are packaged each day and 15,000 shipped, to increase storage capacity and speed in getting the order to the customer through upgrading the technology. (See GM to Invest More Than $100 Million in CCA Facility)
One illustration of just how profitable the distribution centers are, readers may also remember that in preparation for a possible strike, Ford planned to dispatch its salaried staff to operate 20 aftersales sites in 15 states, claiming they had an obligation to keep Ford vehicles on the road.
UAW workers will be going on strike at the following distribution centers:
Pontiac Redistribution, 1251 Joslyn in Pontiac, Michigan
Willow Run Redistribution, 50000 Ecorse Rd. in Belleville, Michigan
Ypsilanti Processing Center, 2625 Tyler Rd. in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Davison Rd. Processing Center, 4420 Davison Rd. in Burton, Michigan
Flint Processing Center, 6060 W. Bristol Rd. in Swartz Creek, Michigan
Lansing Redistribution, 4400 W. Mount Hope Rd. in Lansing, Michigan
Cincinnati Parts Distribution, 8752 Jacquemin Dr. in West Chester, Ohio
Denver Parts Distribution, 23400 E. Smith Rd. in Aurora, Colorado
Hudson Parts Distribution, 2200 Willis Miller Dr. in Hudson, Wisconsin
Chicago Parts Distribution, 1355 Remington Blvd. in Bolingbrook, Illinois
Reno Parts Distribution Center, 6565 Echo Ave. in Reno, Nevada
Rancho Cucamonga Parts Distribution, 9150 Hermosa Ave. in Rancho Cucamonga, California
Fort Worth Parts Distribution, 301 Freedom Dr. in Roanoke, Texas
Martinsburg Parts Distribution, 608 Caperton Blvd. in Martinsburg, West Virginia
Jackson Parts Distribution, 1500 Marquette Road in Brandon, Mississippi
Charlotte Parts Distribution, 10815 Quality Dr. in Charlotte, North Carolina
Memphis AC Delco Parts Distribution, 5115 Pleasant Hill Road in Memphis, Tennessee
Philadelphia Parts Distribution, 200 Cabot Blvd. E. in Lang Horne, Pennsylvania
Marysville, 840 E. Huron Blvd. in Marysville, Michigan
Centerline Packaging, 26311 Lawrence in Center Line, Michigan
Centerline Warehouse, 26311 Lawrence in Center Line, Michigan
Sherwood, 21555 Sherwood Ave. in Warren, Michigan
Warren Parts, 21035 Sherwood in Warren, Michigan
QEC, 2021 Executive Hills Blvd. in Auburn Hills, Michigan
Romulus, 16950 Pine in Romulus, Michigan
Cleveland, 9777 Mopar Dr. in Streetsboro, Ohio
Milwaukee, 3280 S. Clement Ave. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Minneapolis, 13005 Hwy 55 in Plymouth, Minnesota
Denver, 10728 Troy St. in Commerce City, Colorado
Chicago, 1980 High Grove Lane in Naperville, Illinois
Los Angeles, 5141 Santa Ana St. in Ontario, California
Portland, 10030 SW Allen Blvd. in Beaverton, Oregon
Atlanta, 1149 Citizens Parkway, Morrow, Georgia
Winchester, 80 Tyson Dr. Winchester, Virginia
Orlando, 10300 Boggy Creek Rd. in Orlando, Florida
Dallas, 2205 E. Belt Line Rd. in Carrollton, Texas
New York, 108 NY 303 in Tappan, New York
Boston, 550 Forbes Blvd. in Mansfield, Massachusetts
Those still working are continuing to organize red shirt days, discussions with co-workers and practice pickets. Since they are working with an expired contract they are also turning down voluntary overtime, keeping track of any management attempt to change rules and many are also turning out at the strike picket lines.
With this escalation, more areas of the country can join the picket lines. The strike Is expanding as 75% of the public polled indicate their support to the strikers in their demand that “record profits mean a record contract.”