Friday, July 19, 2024

UAW strike against Big Three auto makers is “a return to our roots”

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched simultaneous strikes at three factories owned by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler owner Stellantis on Friday, kicking off the most ambitious U.S. industrial labor action in decades in what UAW president Shawn Fain calls “a return to our roots.”

Image: UAW

“Our message going into bargaining is clear,” Fain told members in a recent Facebook live video. “Record profits mean record contracts.

 “I know that our demands are ambitious, but I’ve told the companies repeatedly, I’m not the reason that members’ expectations are so high. What’s driving members’ expectations are the Big Three’s profits. You cannot make $21 billion in profits in half a year and expect members to take a mediocre contract. You can’t make a quarter trillion dollars in North American profits over the last decade and expect us to keep aiming low and settling lower. Our campaign slogan is simple: record profits mean record contracts.”

Detroit automakers, like their global counterparts, have been focused on cost reductions, which in some cases include job cuts, to help accelerate a shift to electric vehicles (EVs) from gasoline-powered vehicles, according to Reuters News Agency.

The walkouts at the “Detroit Three” will halt production of the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, along with other popular models.

Just after midnight, September 15th, UAW members at the following locations went on strike:

Image: UAW
  • GM Wentzville Assembly, Local 2250 in Region 4;
  • Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex, Local 12 in Region 2B;
  • Ford Michigan Assembly Plant – Final Assembly and Paint, Local 900 in Region 1A.  

“This fight is our generation’s defining moment. Not just at the Big Three, but across the entire working class,” UAW posted to its website.

“We will stand up for ourselves. We will stand up for our families. We will stand up for our communities.”