BUFFALO, NY — The UAW (United Auto Workers) strike against General Motors moved into its 12th day and took on an international reach as GM laid off workers in Canada and dismissed workers in Mexico, who spoke up in sympathy with striking workers in the U.S.
Two-thirds of the 1,100 UAW hourly workers, who make engines destined for the U.S. at GM’s St. Catharines, Ontario facility, were told to stay home Monday, joining the approximately 2,100 workers who stopped work last week at GM and Magna have temporary layoffs at its Oshawa, Ontario plant.
The strike also impacts 1000s of non-UAW employees had been temporarily laid off at automotive suppliers, trucking companies and other GM affiliates.
The strike is costing those companies hundreds of thousands in lost revenue that will be harder to make up as plants, trucks and employees sit idle while 46,000 UAW-GM employees strike 55 GM facilities around the United States.
Analysts have said the strike could cost GM production of 43,000 vehicles per week. Others estimate the automaker would hemorrhage $50 million or more per day as the strike halts GM from producing any vehicles in the U.S
Some arrests – according to GM’s court complaint, workers have stopped traffic, threatened motorists, placed screws on the road leading into the plant and damaged vehicles going in and out. An affidavit from security guard said workers have stopped and damaged vehicles. A driver who said she was unfamiliar with the area found herself near the plant, where workers dented her SUV and broke two of its windows.
Why is the UAW striking?
A cloud hangs over this strike that makes it difficult to discern its ultimate resolution. For the first time in its history, the UAW is negotiating a major contract while its leadership battles 9 leaders under corruption charges and misuse of union funds. It’s possible the scandal will lengthen the strike, emboldening both sides to take a harder line than they otherwise would at a time when the industry is flush with profits.
The details emerging from the ever-widening federal probe, which so far has netted nine convictions and charges against two others for millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, have hurt the union’s reputation. First the investigation unearthed bribes from Fiat Chrysler America officials to UAW leaders. The focus this year has broadened to include leaders’ misuse of union funds. It certainly is not helping with the negotiations. A strike can help rally members to unite!
$7B offer not touching their Cadillac health care, retirement benefits but they are fighting for future workers. Union members want
Striking auto workers want fairer pay, more benefits, – and a cleaner union. They want the Lordstown and Hamtramik plants to open and keep jobs in union shops.
GM has offered to invest $7B in the US plants, annual raises a 4-year deal, increased profit sharing and retention of existing heath care plan.Another big issue is part time workers and a path to all time, sick pay and vacation time.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has agreed to temporary extensions of its collective bargaining agreements with Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to allow more time for talks on new four-year contracts.
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