The United Auto Workers (UAW) union expanded its strike against Stellantis on Monday, calling on an additional 6,800 workers to walk out at a suburban Detroit plant that produces the company’s RAM pickup trucks.
The expansion of the strike at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant — which the UAW described as Stellantis’ “largest plant and biggest moneymaker” — marks the latest surprise move by the union as its strike against the Big Three automakers stretches into a sixth week.
The UAW accused Stellantis of falling behind Ford and General Motors in negotiations, saying the automaker has the “worst proposal on the table” in terms of wage progression, pay for temporary workers, cost-of-living adjustments and other union demands.
UAW President Shawn Fain previously said in livestreamed remarks on Friday that the union would not expand the strike after receiving new offers from two of the Big Three automakers.
However, Fain also noted earlier this month that the union was prepared to call for additional walkouts “at any time” and would no longer wait until its regularly scheduled Friday updates to announce new strikes.
The UAW initially launched the strike at a handful of plants last month, after failing to reach an agreement with the Big Three before its previous contract expired on Sept. 14. Additional walkouts since have brought the total number of striking workers to more than 40,000.
Monday’s walkout is the first expansion of the strike in nearly two weeks. The union last called on some 8,700 workers at a Ford truck plant in Kentucky to walk off the job in a surprise move earlier this month.