The United Auto Workers Strike Against General Motors Sunday Night Amidst Corruption Investigation
Starting at 11:59pm on Sunday night, nearly 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) began a walkout against General Motors (GM) amid arguments over the tiered pay scale along with a new four year contract that General Motors decided to roll out this year. However, this strike may have come at an inconvenient time for the UAW as the Justice Department is investigating top UAW officials on counts of corruption. ~
UAW Vice President, Terry Dittes, says the UAW is “fighting for better wages, affordable quality healthcare, and job security. According to The New York Times, GM workers also express the feeling that GM owes them. In 2009, when GM was facing bankruptcy, workers reportedly waved large sums of pay raises to keep the company afloat. Now the sentiment is that workers should get their due. However, GM raised concerns that if their company hit a downturn, as is the trend with many manufacturing firms in the U.S., then GM might not be able to maintain the raise in wages and improved health insurance. Talks between UAW negotiators and GM executives had been at a standstill, but just before the deadline on Sunday for a new contract, GM threw out a proposal for 7 million dollars worth of pay raises, but it was reportedly “too little, too late” and the strike went into effect (Washington Post, 2019). ~
All this comes at a poor time for the UAW. Last Wednesday, the FBI raided the home of the current UAW president, Gary Jones, as part of an ongoing investigation into corruption between the UAW and automakers. The investigation has uncovered the misuse of millions of dollars and bribery of union officials. This has degraded the reputation of the UAW and may hamper their bargaining power. Regardless, it is believed that the strike will continue until a new agreement between GM and the UAW can be reached. ~
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