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UAW Strikes at General Motors

UAW Strikes at General Motors

More than 49,000 workers refused to work this Monday after General Motors failed to reach an agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union regarding a new four-year contract.

“We clearly understand the hardship that it may cause,” said Terry Dittes, the union’s vice president “We are standing up for fair wages, we are standing up for affordable quality healthcare, we are standing up for our share of the profits.”

GM employee Patty Thomas says that workers agreed to give up cost-of-living pay increases to help the company make it through bankruptcy. Now that GM is making money again, workers want to be reimbursed.

Other employees are frustrated by GM’s plans to close four factories in Detroit, Ohio, and Michigan.

“If we don’t fight now, when are we going to fight?” asks worker Dave Green, who transferred from Lordstown, Ohio to Bedford, Indiana after a factory was closed. “This is not about us. It’s about the future.”

Union reps say GM hasn’t budged, while GM says it offered higher wages, factory investments resulting in 5,400 new positions, improved health benefits, higher profit sharing, and an $8,000 payment to each worker.

GM also presented a plan that keeps two of the factories scheduled to close open (although work would be suspended for up to four years).

Monday’s strike suspended operations at 33 manufacturing plants and 22 warehouses throughout the country. If the strike continues, it will suspend GM’s vehicle and parts production in the US and could affect production in Canada and Mexico.

Complicating matters is a recent controversy involving Vance Pearson, a UAW official who was charged with embezzlement.

Author’s Note: There was a time when unions were desperately needed to save American workers from abuse (think of literary works Grapes of Wrath,and The Jungle); but today, unions are just another way to squeeze money from the corporations. 

Editor’s note:  Unions that strike against companies that employ their members have a great deal of leverage and can cause a great deal of damage. I certainly support employees rights to bargain, and I understand that In a market less restricted by geography, employees could leave and work elsewhere.  But companies very often move their factories to less union-friendly states for this reason (e.g., Boeings move to South Carolina).

But moreover, unions have been hijacked by the Democrat and heavily support Democratic canidates, using union fees.  Several states have weakend the unions’ power in this respect, denying them the “closed shop” that forces employees to join and pay fees.

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  1. Fire21

    “Always look for the union label”…and then steer clear of it. As the author’s note states, unions once had their purpose. Now they just seem to cause higher prices, and support leftist causes that will get them more free (or low cost) stuff.

  2. ch

    They already have great wages and benefits. Fire them all and give 49,000 people jobs. Perhaps they would trade their wage and benefits for mine.
    Now the unions want Congress to pass a bill that makes the taxpayers pay for their benefits package because, they can’t afford the retirement packages now.
    That is BULLSHIT! Stop promising something you can’t deliver and stop asking the tacpayer to make up the difference

    • Joe Shaw

      I’m a retired Federal employee who was President of my state association. Thos we couldn’t strike, we had many friends in Congress. I support the strike, and labor unions everywhere. We need to support worker rights in this country! Employees are NOT slaves to the corporations!

      • Keren

        You are not a slave to the corporations, you are an employee, and if you thing haven’t a socialist government run company is better, you are kidding yourself. The amount of cases of embezzlement in the government sector far exceeds the fraud in the private sector. I am sure there are 49000 people that would LOVE those jobs. When I read the offer by GM, I was furious that someone would strike .

        The UAW has a lousy track record with regards to the Unions.
        I am a retiree that raised 5 kids and I did it on my own, so I am not in favor of the government subsidizing unions.

  3. HuckFinn

    Unions are trying to ruin the economy. They use these workers and charge big Union Dues. They support Socialism,allowing big donations to the Democrat party. Instead of working with Automakers they work to undermine the President and create a false narrative that feeds on greed. The next thing that I believe will happen is Union Workers will be replaced by those workers that recognize a well paid job without Union interference in the work place. Look! We have Millions of illegal immigrants coming in to thos Nation,who would jump at the chance to work for the wages and benefist that thes Auto Workers receive, so let’em strike and just replace these spolers with people who really want a JOB!!

  4. Burl Richardson

    They don’t know when they are well off or how the rest o0f us get by on sensible wages.

  5. Marvs


  6. Keren

    I know 49000 people who would move for a job at GM yesterday….
    These Auto workers are trying to squeeze money from the people who are running the companies, the people that are the real risk takers and the ones writing the checks.
    The UAW is as crooked as the letter “Y”, and they cannot be trusted.
    It’s not the governments’ responsibility to insure your future.
    I had 5 kids and I made sure I saved EVERY dime so that they could all go to school.
    I didn’t worry about luxuries for my kids, that was their dream to fulfill.
    People are ridiculous. Would you rather have a socialist government run business that keeps everyone equally poor with no chance for bettering your life?
    I read the offer to the unions and they are NUTS! I never had a job that offered the deal like they were offered.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Well said.

    • Randy Moreland

      I live by the GM Tech Center in Warren Michigan and I see those people out there walking and blocking the gates of all the white-collar workers and I have to have the police are there to control them and I have seen and read the contract it was offered to Home and I’m with the other people that think that the 49,000 other people would be more than happy to do their jobs and probably do it better then they could because they’re all spoiled because of the unions I also did just fine during My lifetime of working I’m not retired on a home give my son what he needed to succeed in life and he has and that’s all anybody can ask God bless

  7. Keith Kirchner

    Not a slave… employee? Your way of thinking your one in the same….employees have rights too.
    Reading all these comments make it clear your jealous pure and simple. Perhaps you should have had a job in a place where there was a union. All your benefits were made possible because a union negotiated them somewhere someplace in the past.

    I support the strikers in their efforts!!

  8. Bob

    These people have the RIGHT to strike. If you are non-union and haven’t had a raise that kept you at least even with inflation in your area, the only way you can improve your situation is to beg your boss, get promoted, or quit for another job that may, hopefully, pay more with better benefits. But as we ALL know, healthcare benefits either cost more in premiums or in greater co-pays or in restrictive networks. But Medicare, for example, lets you KEEP. your CURRENT doctors and hospitals with an 80/ 20 payment system. If you are currently on or about to be on it, you can buy a supplement plan that gives you several choices in coverage (and premiums). The basic premium for 65 or older people is currently $135.00 per month in the usual 80/20 system. If what the strikers want sounds exorbitant to you, do you know much the average pay is for someone on the line and how well that pay has kept up with inflation? If your pay has kept up, great! If not, don’t begrudge them their way of keeping up.