In an ongoing saga, the United Auto Workers (UAW) is engaged in a fierce labor dispute with General Motors. The union is warning that additional work stoppages could be imminent if an agreement isn’t reached soon.
UAW President Gary Jones has been leading the negotiations and warned that further strike activity “is something that could happen at any time” if GM refuses to budge on various demands that have been made by the union.
The current strike began on September 16th and is now in its second week. Over 49,000 workers have been laid off due to it, and while a strike fund has been set up to provide temporary financial assistance to workers, the impact of the strike has already been felt by many throughout factory towns in the Midwest and South.
The UAW has put forth a number of proposals aimed at increasing wages and job security, including the establishment of a minimum wage that would force GM to pay above the market rate and provide guaranteed employment for all current and future employees.
The union has also demanded better health care, increased vacation time, and safer working conditions for all members. The sticking point remains GM’s refusal to provide blanket job security or agree to the union’s insistence on bringing back temporary workers, which it wants to do away with altogether.
GM has offered a wage increase and promises to bring back temporary workers, provided they agree to certain changes to the contract. This has been viewed as a concession by some, but the union has so far rejected the offer.
Ultimately, the two sides will need to reach an accord if further strike action is to be avoided. It is up to both GM and the UAW leadership to negotiate a fair deal that benefits both sides. Until these conditions are satisfied, it appears that the possibility of additional strikes remains imminent.