UAW strike not expanded as concession made

uaw strike
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

UAW strike: Citing “significant” progress in negotiations, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has decided not to extend its strike action against three of the largest automakers in America.

Union leader Shawn Fain announced that the union would wait until General Motors had consented to have all employees at its factories that produce batteries for electric vehicles automatically become union members.

The strike is still going on even though it won’t hold walkouts in new places.

Mr. Fain stated, “Our strike is working, but we’re not there yet.”

Approximately 25,000 autoworkers from parent company Stellantis, which owns GM, Ford Motor, and Chrysler, are now picketing.

The union, which represents some 146,000 employees at the companies, announced a walkout in the middle of September following the expiration of the parties’ contracts.

It is the first time the UAW has taken industrial action directed at all three corporations at once, but its reach has been kept small as the union only invites a few places to take part, threatening to take more in an attempt to coerce the businesses into making a settlement.

The union has so far called for walkouts at 38 Stellantis and GM component depots as well as five factories.

At GM’s SUV manufacturing facility in Arlington, Texas, the UAW explored going on strike this week, but according to Mr. Fain, the business “leapfrogged” the pack in negotiations.

In a statement, General Motors stated that talks were “ongoing” and that it would “continue to work toward finding solutions to address outstanding issues”.

“Our goal remains to reach an agreement that rewards our employees and allows GM to be successful into the future,” the automaker stated.

The union entered into negotiations demanding, among other things, an end to practices that provide new workers with lesser salaries and fewer benefits, as well as a pay increase of almost 40% over the course of four years.

The businesses have insisted that the union’s demands will have an effect on their long-term capacity to make investments. They have responded by offering a 20% wage raise in addition to several other perks.

As the industry gets ready to increase manufacturing of electric vehicles, concerns about how workers at battery plants formed by joint ventures would be treated had loomed large over the negotiations.

Amid simmering labor tensions nationwide, US President Joe Biden and US President Donald Trump, who is seeking reelection, have both traveled to the Detroit area to address the strikes.

At a Detroit event, Mr. Fain declared, “This is the entire working class,” implying that the struggle for better contracts involved more than just workers.

“It’s shameful where we are as a nation,” he continued.

Credits: BBC

Read more from News Intercept:

UAW Negotiations and the Growing Frustration of Automakers

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