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Ford CEO Jim Farley accused the United Auto Workers of holding contract negotiations “hostage” over the company’s forthcoming electric vehicle battery plants. The UAW strike, which is now in its third week, expanded today to include more facilities, including those operated by Ford.

The strike comes amid a historically consequential shift in the auto industry away from gas-guzzling vehicles to battery-powered ones with zero tailpipe emissions. The automakers are spending billions of dollars to develop whole lineups of battery-powered vehicles, while striking autoworkers want assurances that the transition will use union labor.

Like other automakers, Ford is committed to investing tens of billions of dollars in the transition,…

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