GM Strike

Zyaria Hatcher, Staff Writer

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The General Motors Strike started September 14th, the day after the contract expired. It had been going on for over 6 weeks. It could have dragged on even longer if the strikers had rejected the agreement reached between the company and negotiators for the United Auto Workers union. 

The 2019 General Motors strike caused  48,000 United Automobile Workers to walk out from work. This took place over almost all 50 states. The workers wanted increased job security, gateway for temporary workers to become permanent, better pay and retaining healthcare benefits.

There is a lot of anger towards GM among rank-and-file workers. The deal that was reached last week would give members an $11,000 signing bonus and would also help veterans by raising the hourly pay for those who served. It also will allow many temporary workers to become permanent employees, which will significantly improve their pay and benefits. The union got GM to drop its demand from making workers pay for their health care and benefits. 

“So many people left the community…with the thought in their mind that..our union is strong and our union’s going to get us back to work in Lordstown one day, that this is just a brief thing that we got to do for our families,” said Tommy Wolikow, former GM worker.

They were unable to save three assembly plants that are located in in Lordstown, Ohio, and transmission plants in Warren, Michigan, and Baltimore. While thousands of workers at those plants have taken jobs at other GM plants, many are unhappy at having to relocate because it causes them to move from their families. When most people learn that they have to move to find work and hope that their plant will open up and it does not, it is very devastating to most people.

 If the GM strikers returned to work and then rejected a deal, it would be very hard for union negotiators to improve any terms.