UAW set to go on strike Sunday night

UAW protest | Thomas Altfather Good, Wikimedia Commons
Updated, 2:52 on 9/15/2019 to reflect that the UAW last went on a national strike in 2007

The United Auto Workers (UAW) will go on a national strike at midnight on Sunday, its first since 2007.*

The Detroit-based auto workers union with about 400,000 members announced the strike on Sunday morning. In a statement, the union said it was going on strike to secure fair wages, affordable health care, increased profit sharing, job security and a “defined path” to seniority for temporary workers. 

The union has been negotiating with General Motors (GM).

“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement. “Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our Members, their families and the communities where we work and live.”

UAW workers will receive $250 per week in strike pay, per the union constitution.

GM layoffs could mean 16,000 fewer jobs overall in Michigan

As the Advance has previously reported, GM has been in a layoff mode, including shuttering several Detroit-area facilities in recent months. 

As part of the negotiations, GM reportedly offered $7 billion in new investment that included rebooting “unallocated” assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio, as well as an improved profit-sharing formula, wage increases and other benefits.

The strike comes as top leadership at the UAW, including President Gary Jones, face a federal investigation over allegations that leaders embezzled dues. 

Rick Haglund: Warning light is flashing for Michigan’s auto industry

UAW National Bargaining Committee Chair Ted Krumm said in a statement that the strike is necessary to remind GM and other automakers of the work that the members provide. 

“Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly,” Krumm said. “We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable.”

Nick Manes
Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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