20 Sep United Auto Workers Strike Against GM
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Unions were once the strong backbone that supported the average working American. They have helped preserve the rights and interests of the laborers of our country. One of the largest working union is the United Auto Workers Union. And as one of the largest Unions in America, they are now up against one of the largest corporations in America, GM.
The strike of the UAW members against GM began on Monday morning the 16th of September just two days after the contract between the union and the corporation expired on 11:59 PM on September 14th. At first, this strike was not expected to go on any longer than the 2007 strike on GM which lasted from September 24th – September 26th. But now, about to be four days in, some workers are saying that this strike is much more serious than its predecessor.
On Tuesday morning, one day after the strike began, GM announced that it will no longer be paying the healthcare of the striking workers, only fueling the flame that keeps them marching. Many of the GM employees have stated that the healthcare is a crucial part of their employment plan, simply because of the physical demand of the job, and the wear and tear on all of the worker’s bodies. Not only is this a blow to the workers directly, but that leaves the healthcare expenses of those on the picket line up the UAW union, which will be costly if this continues.
In fact, this strike will be costly to everyone involved if it becomes a long term problem. It is reported that this strike could be costing GM about $100 million a day in lost production value. This could hurt them in the long-run electric car race with other manufacturers. On the side of the strikers, they only receive $250 a week in strike pay from the union. But even that $250 comes with some stipulations. This pay won’t start accumulating until the 8th day of the strike, and won’t even be seen by the members until the 15th day of the strike. For the rest of us, there will be a ripple effect on our economy if this strike goes on for more than a few weeks. Some experts say it will be the GM affiliated industries affected first, followed by the surrounding communities of these plants, and continue out from there. Some have even speculated that it may lead to a Midwestern recession.
Although talks seem to be stale at the moment, the strikers have the support of local businesses and individuals supplying them with food and water throughout the day. Although GM doesn’t have as large of a share of the market as they did in the 90s, GM hurting will definitely have an effect on the country at large. In this case, it is quite literal, that only time will tell.