When the clock struck noon Friday, Stellantis workers filed out of the Center Line facility shouting “Save Mopar now,” a reference to the company’s plans to close some Mopar facilities and modernize its parts distribution network. Stellantis has said the moves would not result in job losses. Workers held signs and chanted “no pay, no parts.”
The decision to call on parts distribution centers came as “a total surprise” to Craig Baxter, who has worked at GM’s Customer Care and Aftersales site in Lansing, Mich., for 10 years.
Baxter said he hoped the expanded strike would bring GM to the table to offer bigger raises, adding that he supports putting the parts depots on equal footing with manufacturing plants.
“We’re General Motors and we do labor work, so we should be in the same wage pool together,” he said.
At GM’s Davison Road Processing Center outside Flint, Mich., Ira Bradley is one of about 1,200 employees. He’s been working there for only three months, but this isn’t his first strike. He was at interior supplier Faurecia in Saline, Mich., when UAW called a walkout in 2019.
Bradley said he wasn’t scheduled to be on the picket line yet but came out anyway to show support.
“This is for a cause, this is for the movement,” Bradley said. “It’s bigger than us.”
Back in Lansing, Jean Duchemin, vice president of UAW Local 1753, said what he most wants in a new contract is the end of different wages for different roles, including new hires.
“Give us a proposal that does not exclude anybody,” Duchemin said. “Everybody must be included.”
Vince Bond Jr., Jamie Butters, Marisa Marcinkowski, Tierra Riddick, Rudy Schork and Lindsay VanHulle contributed to this report.
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