On the Picket Line

Michigan auto-parts workers strike, win UAW union

By Brian Williams
October 25, 2021

Some 340 workers won union recognition for the United Auto Workers after a weeklong strike in September at auto-parts supplier ZF International at its Marysville, Michigan, plant. The axle factory was previously owned by Fiat Chrysler and had been under UAW contract.

In 2019 Fiat Chrysler began transferring workers to other union-organized company locations in a planned transition to ZF International’s control. In January 2021 Fiat Chrysler merged with Peugeot to form Stellantis. ZF Marysville took over and began adding workers from other ZF locations as the union-organized Stellantis workers were being transferred.

In July, ZF bosses announced the Marysville plant had secured a nearly $6 billion contract for delivery of beam axles and axle drives for pickup trucks through 2027, opening up prospects for additional hiring.

The majority of workers made it clear to the company they wanted union representation, and when bosses refused, they walked out.