As of Friday, September 22nd, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union has put the heat on major automotive players General Motors (GM) and Stellantis as the spare parts distribution centers of both firms are now part of the ongoing strike. 

According to UAW president Shawn Fain, workers at 38 parts distribution centers could join the strike as ongoing talks with both these companies remain fruitless. Eighteen of these belong to GM and have a total of 3,475 employees; the remaining 20 belong to Stellantis and have a total manpower component of 2,150 employees.

In doing so, UAW essentially takes the fight to end-users as these centers are the primary source of repair parts for many dealerships. Indeed, car owners may find themselves unable to get their vehicles fixed due to a lack of available parts. It’s a strategy that may push companies to come to certain agreements with the union.

However, the possibility of this backfiring on the UAW is a very real threat as it could drive consumers to refuse to support the organization. 

What the Companies Have to Say

In a statement released on the 22nd, GM officials declared that the expansion of the strike into the distribution centers was an unnecessary move on the part of the union. 

In any case, the company has contingency plans in place and it is ready to do what is necessary for business continuity.

Stellantis, on the other hand, has made no statements regarding the issue.

In contrast, discussions between UAW and Ford Motor have been more fruitful. As of press time, Ford officials declared that the company was working in tandem with the union to reach an agreement. However, there are still a number of issues that need to be threshed out between the parties involved.