(New York) The president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, Shawn Fain, on Friday called on an additional 7,000 members to stop work at a Ford site in Chicago and another at General Motors in Lansing, Michigan.

These employees will join the ranks of some 18,600 employees already on strike as part of this strike movement that began two weeks ago due to lack of agreement on the renewal of the collective agreement at Ford, GM and Stellantis.

The manager clarified that he was not calling on additional members to suspend their activity at Stellantis, due to “significant progress” on several points currently being discussed.

He mentioned a mechanism for adjusting salaries to the cost of living as well as the right to strike in the event of a site closure and relocation announcement by the manufacturer.

“We are excited to see this momentum at Stellantis and we hope to see it continue,” said the president of the powerful auto union.

Stellantis, born from the merger between the French PSA and FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), was initially criticized, as was GM, for its supposed inflexibility, with the UAW welcoming, last week, significant progress with Ford.

But the tide seems to have turned, and the president of the UAW this week publicly attacked Ford for having suspended, on Monday, construction work on a battery factory in Michigan, considered a project major of the group from Dearborn (Michigan).

The strikers received significant reinforcement this week in the person of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who went on Tuesday to a picket line at the GM spare parts distribution center in Belleville, in the suburbs of Detroit.

The head of state publicly estimated that the union could legitimately demand a salary increase of some 40% over the duration of the new agreement, i.e. four years.

Former President Donald Trump also visited the region on Wednesday, holding a public meeting at a parts manufacturing site, which does not belong to any of the big three manufacturers and which does not include a union.

He once again sought to place the responsibility for the social conflict on Joe Biden and his energy transition policy which favors the development of electric vehicles.