U.S. Auto Workers Go on Strike

1 min read
[Images: AP/AFP/Getty Images]

by Saurav Sarkar

The United Auto Workers (UAW), the union that represents hundreds of thousands of U.S. auto workers, academic workers, and others, is striking the so-called “Big 3” car companies: General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Stellantis North America (formerly Chrysler). According to experts, the union is conducting targeted strikes that have the potential to shut down the entire U.S. auto industry, which has about 145,000 workers.

“Two plants per company, you can pretty much idle North America,” said Jeff Schuster, an industry consultant, to CNN, prior to the strike.

The effort reflects the most adversarial approach taken by the union toward auto companies in years. The UAW took a hard line in negotiations with the Big 3 as the union’s auto contracts expired on September 14. The union is seeking a 40 percent pay hike over four years and other dramatic changes to auto workers’ terms and conditions.

American labor advocates have struggled for decades with the problem of moribund big unions, but appear to have found a winning formula with the UAW. The union recently endured a massive corruption scandal that resulted in government intervention into the union and the prosecutions of previous leadership officers, including former presidents Gary Jones and Dennis Williams. An upshot of the internal turmoil was that members were able to vote directly for more militant union executive officers like current President Shawn Fain.

Credit Line: from the Globetrotter News Service

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