Strike against GM and Stellantis expands to parts distribution centers in 20 states, including Oregon.
Forty-five members of United Auto Workers Local 492 at the Stellantis Parts Distribution Center in Beaverton have joined 5,600 workers at 38 parts and distribution centers in an expanded strike against Detroit automakers.
The work stoppage began after UAW President Shawn Fain announced the strike on Facebook Live Friday. The Beaverton workers join 13,000 other workers who began strikes last week at Ford, GM and Stellantis assembly plants across the country. Fain invited President Joe Biden to join striking auto workers during the announcement, an invitation the president accepted.
The UAW has been in negotiations with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis – a Dutch multinational automotive manufacturing corporation formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group — since June 2023. Workers began striking on Sept. 15 but have not seen sufficient movement to meet demands, which include wage increases and end to differential pay for temporary workers.
“This is an important time for our industry. As our country makes a needed transition to a green economy we have a historic opportunity to raise autoworkers standards instead of lowering them,” Local 492 President Rob Perdue said in a press release. “Unfortunately as the Big Three corporations expand into EVs they’re using it as an excuse to slash wages and undermine standards that generations of UAW workers have fought for and won. That needs to stop for all of our sake.”
“We’re planning to stay out as long as we need to win a fair contract,” Jill McCambridge, UAW Benefits Representative at the UAW Local 492, said in the release . “We’re done accepting wages that don’t keep up with the cost of living, and we’re done tolerating a two-tier system for temporary workers. The companies we work for are making record profits so it’s time to share with those of us who do the work every day.”
Last week, Stellantis announced layoffs, which a company spokesperson attributed to the United Auto Workers strike.
A representative from Stellantis respond to request for comment with the company’s own press release, stating: “We question whether the union’s leadership has ever had an interest in reaching an agreement in a timely manner. They seem more concerned about pursuing their own political agendas than negotiating in the best interests of our employees and the sustainability of our U.S.”
They did not address questions about layoffs at the Beaverton plant.