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U.S. Autoworkers Prepare To Expand Strike

The United Auto Workers (UAW) is preparing to expand its strike action against the big three U.S. automakers as ongoing contract talks fail to result in a new collective agreement between the two sides.

Last week, the UAW launched simultaneous strikes at one assembly plant each of General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Chrysler parent company Stellantis (STLA).

Now, the union is planning to expand the strike to multiple manufacturing plants in several different U.S. states.

The strike, now entering its eighth day, could disrupt automotive production for a prolonged period and hurt the U.S. economy.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) estimates that a full month of lost production would cost the three automakers a combined $7 billion U.S. to $8 billion U.S. in lost profits.

Approximately 12,700 autoworkers are currently on strike. The UAW has a total of 146,000 members who work at the big three vehicle manufacturers in America.

The union is calling for 40% wage increases at each of the automakers, and for an end to a tiered wage structure that has created a growing divide between newer and older workers.

UAW President Shawn Fain has called for an expansion of the strike today (September 22) unless serious progress is made at the bargaining table.

GM, Ford and Stellantis have each said that they remain in talks with the UAW, though they have balked at the wage increase demands, offering raises of about 20% each over four years.

Analysts who cover the automotive industry expect plants that build bestselling pick-up trucks, such as Ford's F-150, GM's Silverado, and Stellantis' Ram to be targeted in an expanded strike.

The stocks of Ford and General Motors are each down more than 5% over the last 12 months. Stellantis’ share price has gained 51% in the same time period.