The United Auto Workers (UAW) has officially called for a strike at Ford's Kentucky truck plant, impacting about 9,000 workers. The strike, which was initiated late on Wednesday, comes as a response to perceived stagnation in labor negotiations.
The strike came with minimal warning, as thousands of workers left their posts at 6:30 p.m. Shortly after, union officials moved through the plant, halted production and instructed workers to leave peacefully.
Shawn Fain, President, UAW, issued the strike call.“We are being called upon to be the next arm of leverage in an international strike. We are being called on by our leadership. It is time to stand up and do our duty," says Todd Dunn, President, UAW Local 862. Dunn underlined that the union members had long been prepared for this moment and were ready to take the required actions to support the strike.
The Kentucky truck plant is the largest facility in Ford's portfolio and ranks among the world's largest automotive factories. It plays an essential role in Ford's revenue, with vehicles manufactured there contributing an annual revenue of about US$25 billion, accounting for approximately one-sixth of the company's global income.
The strike at the Kentucky truck plant is part of a broader labor dispute that follows the expiration of contracts with major automakers, including Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, on Sep. 14.
Over 20,000 auto workers are participating in walkouts across the US. The repercussions of these labor disputes have extended beyond the automakers themselves, resulting in the shutdown of auto plants and parts warehouses. This ripple effect has led to additional layoffs, impacting not only car manufacturers but also their suppliers.