On the first day of the unprecedented UAW strike against all three of the major automakers, Sen. Bernie Sanders joined a United Auto Workers rally in Detroit in a show of solidarity. The strike began early Friday at a General Motors plant in Missouri, a Stellantis NV plant in Ohio, and part of a Ford Motor plant in Michigan. This marks the first time in history that the UAW has struck at all three automakers simultaneously. The union has indicated that it may strike at additional plants as contract negotiations continue.
UAW President Shawn Fain introduced Sanders as one of labor’s strongest allies, and Sanders thanked the crowd for standing up not only for UAW members but for the entire working class. Sanders emphasized the need for fair treatment of workers, referencing the automakers’ combined $21 billion in profit over the past six months. The senator called on all Americans to stand with the UAW and to challenge the notion that CEOs and stockholders can have it all.
The effects of the strike were immediately felt, with Ford confirming the layoff of approximately 600 workers at a Michigan plant where union workers are striking. Similarly, GM announced that the strike at its Missouri plant will result in a parts shortage at another plant in Kansas, potentially leading to a shutdown at the Kansas factory.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist also addressed the rally, expressing their support for the UAW and its members.
Claudia Assis contributed to this report.