The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has officially shut down the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Ram Truck plant in Warren, Michigan, as the union expands its strike to include more Fiat Chrysler sites.
The Warren Ram Truck plant, which contains 1,579 workers, was the first FCA facility to be shut down on Monday morning. This comes two days after the UAW announced an extension of the union’s strike against the company. Initially launched on September 16th, the strike has now expanded to include nine additional FCA sites.
The union is demanding better wages, enhanced job security and a clear pathway to permanent employment for temporary and contract workers. They’ve also proposed to reduce the current 10-year contract-to-permanent transition period to one year, provide increased bonuses and better healthcare protection for workers.
The expansion of the strike has further demonstrates the resolve of the UAW to stand up for their rights. The union is also demanding FCA bring back the jobs of four relocated workers who were employed in truck facilities and relocated to Arkansas.
In a statement, UAW president Rory Gamble said, “The UAW has taken this unfortunate action because it’s clear the company has no intention of addressing our members’ most pressing concerns. They have failed to provide workers with a fair and equitable contract that recognizes their dedication to the company and to this country.”
Meanwhile, FCA has responded to the extension of the strike with a promise to continue negotiations with the union and to strive to reach a “successful conclusion.” They have also expanded their offer of temporary employment to those on strike.
The on-going strike action demonstrated the power of collective action by unionized workers. It remains to be seen how long the strike will last and what the outcome will be for the UAW and FCA.