By Levi Perrin
This year continues to be a major change point for organized labor. If an agreement is not reached, the United Auto Workers Union plans a targeted strike of specific plants operated by Detroit’s three automakers. Of the 150,000 active workers represented by the UAW, a whopping 97% of them voted to authorize the strike.
As part of their demands, the UAW is seeking:
- A 46% pay raise
- A 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay
- Restoration of traditional pensions for new hires
On September 7, UAW president Fain refused General Motors’ offer, which met none of the union’s demands, and said, “After refusing to bargain in good faith for the past six weeks . . . GM has come to the table with an insulting proposal that doesn’t come close to an equitable agreement for America’s autoworkers.”
The union has pointed toward the automakers’ soaring profits as evidence that they can afford wage increases for all workers. The Detroit “Big 3” collectively posted a profit of $21 billion in the first six months of 2023.
Recently, the UAW filed charges against Chrysler and GM with the National Labor Relations Board for failing to negotiate in good faith.
If an agreement is not met by midnight on Thursday, September 14, the UAW can deploy its $825 million strike fund to support those striking. According to the union’s website, they will pay $500 per week per member for the strike with enough resources to strike for three months.