United Auto Workers on the picket line in historic strike

United Auto Workers have gone on strike for the first time in their 88-year history.

The UAW represents about 146,000 workers.

Right now, only 13,000 are on strike, but that number could change.

Members of the union began picketing at a General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit; and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.

Talks have been strenuous between the sides and they really began to escalate right before the current contract expired just before midnight. UAW workers are seeking better retirement benefits and full pay for a shortened 32-hour workweek, down from 40.

If the strike lasts a long time, dealers could run short of vehicles and prices could rise.

“We gave counter offers and that’s the first misconception that some of the corporate CEOs have been putting out, saying we haven’t countered. We’ve countered. We’ve had very constructive conversations. We made counteroffers again tonight. It’s their fault,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “It’s a shame that they waited until the last week to start meeting with us.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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