by David Shepardson and Joseph White

DETROIT (Reuters) – The United Auto Workers (UAW) will extend its strike to new factories at General Motors and Ford, its president Shawn Fain announced on Friday, as the movement for wage increases enters its third week.

More than 7,000 workers will join the strike, Shawn Fain said, bringing their total number to 25,000. However, no new Stellantis factory will be affected.

“Despite our desire to find a compromise, Ford and General Motors have refused to make significant progress (in the discussions),” explained Shawn Fain in a video message broadcast Friday morning.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the union had planned to announce a new strike at Stellantis. The group, parent company of Chrysler, however made significant changes to its contract proposal shortly before Shawn Fain spoke, the latter said.

The new strikes at the Ford plant in Chicago, Illinois, and the General Motors plant in Lansing, Michigan, will begin Friday at noon (1600 GMT).

Employees of General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, three historic automobile manufacturers in the United States, walked off the job on September 15 at the call of the UAW, which demands an increase in wages and greater job security while the sector is transitioning to electric vehicles.

(Reporting David Shepardson and Joseph White; Camille Raynaud, edited by Bertrand Boucey)

Copyright © 2023 Thomson Reuters