UAW strikes GM engine plant, threatening wider disruption

Logo of GM atop the company headquarters

By David Shepardson and Joseph White

(Reuters) -The United Auto Workers on Saturday expanded its strike at General Motors to include an engine plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee that GM said supplies nine factories producing several of its best selling and most profitable vehicles.

UAW President Shawn Fain said he ordered the walkout at the Spring Hill manufacturing complex because GM is balking at contract terms based on deals struck at Ford on Wednesday and Stellantis on Saturday.

”We are disappointed by GM’s unnecessary and irresponsible refusal to come to a fair agreement,” Fain said in a statement.

GM said it was disappointed by the UAW strike at Spring Hill and that it still seeks "to reach an agreement as quickly as possible."

Spring Hill Manufacturing, an assembly and propulsion plant, is the largest GM facility in North America with nearly 4,000 total employees.

The complex supplies engines and other components to GM's Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Silao, Mexico large pickup assembly plants; the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky; a compact SUV factory in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico; a plant at Spring Hill that builds Cadillac SUVs; and a midsize car plant in Fairfax, Kansas. Two other assembly plants that rely on Spring Hill -- a large SUV factory in Arlington, Texas, and a midsize pickup facility in Wentzville, Missouri, are already on strike.

A lengthy Spring Hill strike could greatly increase the financial pain for GM, which said in a filing earlier this week that strike costs had risen to $400 million a week.

Moments before employees walked out in Tennessee, the UAW said it reached a tentative labor agreement with Chrysler parent Stellantis. It reached a similar deal with Ford Motor on Wednesday.

The UAW previously struck GM assembly plants in Missouri and Michigan as well as 18 parts distribution warehouses.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Joseph White; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)