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Autoworkers at distribution center in Tappan, New York walk off job as United Auto Workers strike grows

Autoworkers in Tappan, New York join growing UAW strike
Autoworkers in Tappan, New York join growing UAW strike 02:26

TAPPAN, N.Y. -- Union workers at a distribution center in Tappan, New York walked off the job on Friday as the United Auto Workers union expanded its strike

The union called for strikes at distribution centers for GM and Stellantis. The union did not target Ford because it said it made progress in talks with that company. 

However, leaked messages from UAW leadership appear to indicate the union has been planning for a long and costly strike. 

"We gotta do what we gotta do. We might suffer a little, but listen, in order to get what we want, it's gonna be worth it in the long run," said Jimmy Fitz. 

"This is not something that we're upset about. This is something that we've been looking forward to and we'll do what we have to do to make sure all of our futures are involved in it," said Jeffrey Purcell, president of UAW Local 3039. 

The wider walkout includes about 5,600 workers from 38 locations across 20 states. They'll join the nearly 13,000 workers at three Midwest plans who kicked off the strike last week. 

"We want a wage increase that's similar to the wage increase of the top tier management. And just so you know, the top tier management, their pay has multiplied seven times. Seven times," said Mark Barbee, international representative for UAW Region 9. 

Meanwhile, the lot at Central Avenue Jeep in Yonkers is packed with new cars. But a sustained strike could change that. 

"I'm afraid if the strike lasts very long, it could really impact our availability," said dealer Jonathan Grant. 

The plant that builds the popular Wrangler is currently shut down. Ford and GM dealerships could face the same problem if assembly lines sit idle for a prolonged period. 

"If it goes beyond 60 or 90 days or grows to other plants, I think the impact could be much more severe," said Grant. 

And the impact could hit towns where walkouts continue. 

"If you have less money to spend, you're gonna really hold onto what you have and that reduction in spending could curb economic growth in those local communities," said CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger. 

The targeted shutdowns reflect a union strategy, but Ford has been spared in the new walkouts because of progress at the bargaining table. 

"Historically, Ford has had the best relationship with the UAW and was seen even ahead of the strike as being the furthest down the line as far as negotiations have gone," said CBS News senior transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave. 

Automakers said the strike's ripple effects forced temporary layoffs of roughly 3,000 employees whose work depends on the closed plants. Now with the strike expanding, those kinds of ripple effects are expected to increase. 

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