Auto workers strike in the United States expanded on Wednesday with 8,700 more employees walking off their jobs, said the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, as a deal with major automakers remained elusive.
The staff at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville join some 25,000 other UAW members on strike against the Big Three companies—General Motors (GM), Ford and Stellantis.
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The UAW launched a targeted strike on September 15 on GM, Ford and Stellantis, when a previous contract expired without a replacement. It called for stoppages at a handful of plants, while leaving most of the union's 146,000 U.S. hourly autoworkers on the job.
But the latest move came "after Ford refused to make further movement in bargaining," the UAW said in a statement.
"We have waited long enough, but Ford has not gotten the message," said UAW President Shawn Fain. "It's time for a fair contract at Ford and the rest of the Big Three."
In a separate statement, Ford called the latest strike decision "grossly irresponsible," saying it had put an "outstanding offer" on the table.
Ford warned that the widened strike affects direct employees and work stoppage "will generate painful aftershocks," such as impacting other company operations and suppliers.