Ford Motor Company shares fell in premarket trading after United Auto Workers significantly escalated its strikes against the automaker by targeting its largest and most profitable plant.
On Wednesday evening, 8,700 UAW members walked off the job at the highly profitable SUV and truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The plant produces Ford Super Duty pickups, the Ford Expedition, and the Lincoln Navigator SUVs.
UAW wrote in a statement, “The strike was called by UAW President Shawn Fain and Vice President Chuck Browning after Ford refused to make further movement in bargaining.” The union called last night’s announcement a “surprise move” and “marks a new phase in the UAW’s Stand Up Strike.”
The union told Bloomberg in an emailed statement that the strike against the sprawling Kentucky factory was called “after Ford refused to make further movement in bargaining.”
— UAW (@UAW) October 12, 2023
Bloomberg spoke with a Ford official familiar with bargaining and said the union requested a contract offer from the automaker after talks on battery plants and improving retirement security.
Ford proposed a 23% pay hike over the contract’s life last week, which Fain said on Oct. 6 was the best offer so far the union has seen from Ford, General Motors. or Stellantis. The official said Ford failed to go higher in a 1700 ET meeting Wednesday, which triggered Fain to stand up and say: “If there’s not a better offer, then you just lost KTP.”
“We have been crystal clear, and we have waited long enough, but Ford has not gotten the message,” Fain said in a statement.
Fain continued, “It’s time for a fair contract at Ford and the rest of the Big Three. If they can’t understand that after four weeks, the 8,700 workers shutting down this extremely profitable plant will help them understand it.”
Shares of Ford dropped 2.5% in premarket trading in New York.
In a statement to AP News, Ford called the strike expansion “grossly irresponsible” and said it poses “serious consequences for our workforce, suppliers, dealers and commercial customers.”