On Monday, a United Auto Workers (UAW) strike began at the Mercedes-Benz supplier in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This comes at a time when Detroit’s Big Three automakers—General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler—are already in the midst of a strike that has gone on for over four weeks.
The walkout in Alabama is the first strike at a foreign-owned auto plant in the United States since the UAW began negotiations with the automakers earlier this year. The union called on workers to join their colleagues at the plant, which supplies components to Mercedes-Benz’s SUV plant in Vance, Alabama.
The strike comes as the UAW continues to demand better wages, job security, and health benefits for its members. UAW President Gary Jones called on workers in Alabama and beyond to show solidarity with their Detroit-area counterparts.
“These workers in Alabama are standing up for their rights, and all of us at the UAW will show our solidarity with them,” he said in a statement. “Everyone has a right to a fair and just work environment, and these workers’ refusal to endure unfair labor practices is what will bring positive change to the industry.”
The strike will have a rippling effect throughout the auto industry. The UAW has already authorized a strike at several of Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. suppliers if there is no agreement in Detroit. Moreover, the disruption could have global implications for the auto industry.
The most recent UAW strike has been one of the longest in decades and has seen workers on both sides remain resolute in their demands. It remains to be seen how it affects the outcome of the negotiations in Alabama, but one thing is certain—the labor movement looks to be gaining more strength as the UAW’s demands are echoed across the country.