Support is pouring in from every corner of Wisconsin for UAW Local 722 workers on strike for over 21 days at a General Motors distribution center in Hudson. At midnight on September 15, nearly 48,000 members of the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) walked out on strike for a fair contract at GM. Workers are striking for fair wages, affordable health care, job security, a fair share of profits, and a pathway to permanent status for temporary workers.
“It’s been great that so many locals have come out to help,” said Norton. “We’re standing up and fighting for fair use of temporary employees and other issues. Temp workers used to be hired for 90 days, now it’s several years. Currently, there are four different pay scales for people doing the same work. We think everyone should get the same pay for the same work.”
Union members, community supporters, and elected leaders have been on the line, visiting UAW Local 722 workers and bringing supplies and solidarity to booster morale and stand together.
Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale was on the line recently bringing pizza to strikers and meeting with local leadership. Gov. Tony Evers tweeted his support. Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, whose father is a proud UAW member, joined striking workers on October 3. Wisconsin Senator Patty Schachtner walked the line with workers. The NFLPA, the union which represents NFL players including the Packers, tweeted support as have international and national unions around the globe.
On Friday, October 4, the Western and Wisconsin AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Councils hosted a BBQ Cookout and Family Day, delivering groceries, diapers, and supplies for UAW Local 722 families. The building trades members rolled out the trailer with the grills to cook up fresh and hot brats for striking workers and their families. Wisconsin AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Delie joined the line on Family Day.
Greg Erickson, Western Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades President, explained that “we’re happy to stand with UAW workers to help in their fight for temporary employees having a path to full employment and fair healthcare. This is what being union is all about standing strong together in solidarity and helping one another out when it’s needed.”
Striking GM workers are taking a brave stand for the middle class. Their fight is a fight for all of us. A decade after receiving a massive bailout from taxpayers, GM is now one of America’s most profitable companies. These profits would not be possible without the skill and dedication of our UAW brothers and sisters.
Laurie Gruber, OPEIU and Secretary of the Greater West Central Area Labor Council, stated “it’s important we’re here to show solidarity and support our fellow workers. It’s the only way we’re going to get the middle class back. We bailed this company out and now they’re taking it out on the workers.”
While spirits remain high, we know there are many difficulties endured by workers and their families during a strike. Your support and visits to the line boost solidarity and mean a great deal to striking workers. While negotiations between the UAW and GM continue, we stand united as one labor movement to support striking GM workers in Hudson. See you on the line!