Nearly 50,000 UAW members went on strike to demand fair wages, affordable health care, their share of the profits, and more. The strike was approved after UAW and GM reached an impasse in their negotiations of a new collective bargaining agreement.
“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes 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.”
It is the union’s first such action since 2007, on the eve of the Great Recession. During the years that followed, when the company was rescued from bankruptcy by the federal government, the workers stuck by GM and helped it get back on its feet. Today, GM is earning record-level profits – last year, $8.1 billion globally to be exact.
The strike comes as more and more unionized workers across our country are raising their voices. From teachers, hospital workers and other public service workers to hospitality workers and online media employees, the union movement is visibly gaining strength.
Despite attacks against labor unions from corporations and the superrich, workers are gaining confidence in their ability to enact change by joining together. Not coincidentally, unions are at their most popular in half a century, gaining approval from nearly two out of three Americans.