As GM Authority has been extensively covering, the Big Three – which includes General Motors, Ford and Stellantis – have been engaged in labor contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union for a few weeks now. The union previously made threats to go on strike if it didn’t receive what it perceived as a fair contract, and now, UAW members have voted in favor of a possible strike.
With approximately 97 percent of all Big Three UAW workers voting yes in favor of strike authorization, the union’s demands include the elimination of tiered wages and benefits, wage increases to offset inflation and match salary increases of company executives over the last four years, the reestablishment of cost-of-living allowances and defined benefit pensions and retiree healthcare, the right to strike over plant closures, significant increases to current retiree benefits, and more paid time off to be with family.
“Our union’s membership is clearly fed up with living paycheck-to-paycheck while the corporate elite and billionaire class continue to make out like bandits,” UAW President Shawn Fain claimed. “The Big Three have been breaking the bank while we have been breaking our backs. Our members’ expectations are high because Big Three profits are so high. The Big Three made a combined $21 billion in profits in just the first six months of this year. That’s on top of the quarter-trillion dollars in North American profits they made over the last decade. While Big Three executives and shareholders got rich, UAW members got left behind. Our message to the Big Three is simple: record profits mean record contracts.”
Of course, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t necessarily mean that there WILL be a strike, but that the UAW is ready to implement one if the need arises.
“The highest authority is the membership, and this is definitively outlined within our UAW Constitution,” UAW Vice President and UAW-General Motors Department Director Mike Booth stated in a prepared statement. “Today the 46,000 UAW represented members at General Motors clearly spoke with a unified voice when the strike authorization passed by 96 percent. General Motors has made insane record profits in the past few years and the UAW membership is only demanding their fair share. Today, the members put the company on notice.”