A powerful labor union initiates a strike at major US automakers.

Im Ausstand: Mitglieder der UAW-Gewerkschaft vor einem Werk von Ford in Michigan Bild: EPA

The deadline for wage negotiations has expired. Now, factories at General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis are being simultaneously struck. The union is demanding a salary increase of 36 percent spread over four years.

IIn an unprecedented move, the influential UAW union is simultaneously striking the works of the three major US automakers, General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. The work stoppages began on Friday night after the deadline for contract negotiations expired. A prolonged industry-wide strike could significantly impact the US economy.

The UAW, with approximately 150,000 members, is demanding a 36 percent increase in income over four years during the negotiations. The car manufacturers were willing to offer increases of up to 20 percent over a duration of four and a half years. However, the newly appointed UAW chairman, Shawn Fain, emphasized that the offers were insufficient considering the high inflation and the companies‘ favorable profit situation.

The strike started on Friday night at the GM plant in Missouri, a Stellantis plant in Ohio, and a Ford factory in Michigan. Several popular models like the Jeep Wrangler are affected by the work stoppages. This labor dispute also puts President Joe Biden in a difficult position: while he has traditionally been supportive of unions, a setback for the US economy could diminish his hopes for re-election in just over a year.