Auto Workers Union Just Shut Down Ford’s Biggest And Most Profitable Plant

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Will Kessler Contributor
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The United Auto Workers (UAW) unexpectedly walked off the job Wednesday evening at the largest Ford plant in an escalation of its strike against major automakers.

Around 8,700 UAW members walked off the job at 6:30 p.m. ET at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville yesterday in a previously unannounced move, completely shutting down the plant, according to an announcement from the UAW. The new strike location comes as UAW workers are already striking at 43 other plants at the Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — across the U.S. in a strike that started after contract negotiations failed to reach a deal before their Sept. 14 deadline. (RELATED: ‘Cast A Long Shadow’: UAW Strike Costs Billions In Losses With No End In Sight)

“We have been crystal clear, and we have waited long enough, but Ford has not gotten the message,” Shawn Fain, UAW president, said in the announcement. “It’s time for a fair contract at Ford and the rest of the Big Three. If they can’t understand that after four weeks, the 8,700 workers shutting down this extremely profitable plant will help them understand it.”

The union’s original demands included a 46% wage increase over the course of the nearly five-year contract, a 32-hour work week without a cut in pay, a return to traditional pensions and retiree health care plans, cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) and job protections as the Big Three expand their non-unionized electric vehicle operations at the expense of their traditional operations. The Big Three have most recently offered to raise wages between 20% and 23%, and Ford and Stellantis have agreed to reinstate COLA, according to Yahoo Finance.

“The decision by the UAW to call a strike at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant is grossly irresponsible but unsurprising given the union leadership’s stated strategy of keeping the Detroit 3 wounded for months through ‘reputational damage’ and ‘industrial chaos.'” Ford said in a statement following the strike expansion. “Ford made an outstanding offer that would make a meaningful positive difference in the quality of life for our 57,000 UAW-represented workers, who are already among the best compensated hourly manufacturing workers anywhere in the world.”

The UAW did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation, and Ford deferred the DCNF to previous statements.

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