The United Auto Workers union officially went on strike against General Motors Sunday night. It’s the first work stoppage by autoworkers in the U.S. in 12 years. Here are five things to know:
1. When and where is the strike?
It’s happening in nine states: Michigan, Ohio, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas. In total there are 31 GM factories and 21 other facilities in those states where workers will be striking. The strike officially began at 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.
here’s the list of GM factories and UAW locals going on strike at midnight tonight. if there’s a strike in your area, please get out there and support the workers! we need each other. (number next to the local is # of striking workers!) pic.twitter.com/Dlyv7QlvHa
— ????mindy (@lil_yenta) September 15, 2019
2. Why are they striking?
The United Auto Workers 46,000 members are striking because they say that GM has failed to recognize the “contributions and sacrifices that the company’s UAW members have made to create a healthy, profitable, industry” after the financial crash over a decade ago. The workers want fair wages, affordable healthcare, a share of GM’s profits, and job security—something they say GM has not given them.
As UAW vice president Terry Dittes said, “We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families, and the communities where we work and live.”
At 11:59, UAW-GM workers began their strike. https://t.co/UljiErd7yN
— UAW (@UAW) September 16, 2019
3. What has GM offered?
Before talks collapsed, GM offered UAW workers “improved” wages and healthcare benefits as well as $7 billion in U.S. investments and the addition of 5,400 jobs. However, the UAW said these concessions fell short.
The offer we presented to the UAW prioritizes employees, communities and builds a stronger future for all. It includes improved wages and health care benefits, over $7B in U.S. investments and 5,400 jobs. Let's come together and secure our shared future: https://t.co/1QVtUokpis pic.twitter.com/Iss4S38Ozs
— General Motors (@GM) September 15, 2019
4. Many of the Democratic contenders for president have publicly voiced support for the autoworkers
Auto workers deserve good wages, comprehensive benefits, and economic security. I stand with @UAW as they strike to get what they deserve, and urge GM to come to the table and negotiate in good faith. https://t.co/VRmL7VzSzt
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 16, 2019
I am proud to support the @UAW workers who are standing up to the greed of GM. Our message to GM is a simple one: End the greed, sit down with the UAW and work out an agreement that treats your workers with the respect and the dignity they deserve. https://t.co/nAQoeX82oz
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 15, 2019
The CEO of @GM made nearly $22 million dollars last year—281 times the median GM worker.
I stand with the 46,000 @UAW members who have moved to strike, fighting for affordable health care and fair wages.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 15, 2019
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) September 16, 2019
A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about dignity and respect.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 15, 2019
5. How long will the strike last?
No one knows, but both sides are keen to keep negotiating. CNN reports that the United Auto Workers union and General Motors are returning to the bargaining table at 10 a.m. today. The last major strike 12 years ago lasted for only three days, but other strikes have gone on for as long as four months.