The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has launched simultaneous strikes at three plants in Detroit, marking the largest labor action in the US in recent years.

The strikes will halt production of the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks, among other popular models. UAW President Shawn Fain said the union would stay away from a wide-scale general strike for now, but said all options were open if no agreement on new contracts was reached.

'Big Three' on strike for the first time

Fain announced plans for an unprecedented, simultaneous strike at the US operations of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler's parent company Stellantis on Facebook less than two hours before the old contract expired. "For the first time in our history, we are going on strike at all three of the Big Three," Fain said.

The strikes, involving a total of 12,700 workers, will take place at assembly plants operated by Ford in Wayne, Michigan, GM in Wentzville, Missouri, and Stellantis' Jeep brand in Toledo, Ohio. These plants are critical to the production of some of the Detroit Three's most profitable vehicles.