Auto workers have initiated a series of strikes after their union failed to reach an agreement with the three largest US manufacturers: Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis.

The deadline for contract negotiations expired at midnight, with both sides still far apart on key issues in the union's new contract.

UAW President Shawn Fain is leading the largest strike in a generation, coordinating a series of targeted "standup" strikes at auto plants across the US.

The UAW has an $825 million strike fund, providing $500 a week in compensation for striking workers, potentially supporting all members for about three months.

Among the union's demands are a 40% pay increase, an end to wage tiers, and the restoration of concessions from previous contracts.

Workers argue for their demands based on automakers' soaring profits, a 92% increase from 2013 to 2022, while worker wages have fallen 19.3% since 2008 when adjusted for inflation.

President Biden is considering emergency aid for smaller supply firms impacted by the strike and is actively involved in negotiations.

UAW President Shawn Fain announced the strike involving 12,700 workers at key plants, impacting the production of highly profitable vehicles.

Ford expressed concerns that the UAW's proposals could double its labor costs and potentially decimate profit-sharing checks for this year.

The contract fight has garnered strong support from the public and various labor unions, with drivers and other groups pledging not to cross the picket line in solidarity with the UAW.