UAW Victorious on Several Fronts

Excerpts from Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes

UAW President Shawn Fain announced a deal with Ford. The contract gains are substantial.

Since 1979, union auto workers have endured round after round of concessions. That era is over. On Wednesday, the 41st day of the union’s Stand Up Strike against the Big 3, Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain announced a deal with Ford. The contract gains are substantial, including a phase out of the two-tier discrimination against newer and younger workers.

The union added the straw that broke the camel’s back [last] week when it hit General Motors’s and Stellantis’s two biggest moneymakers, SUV and truck assembly plants in Texas and Michigan, on Monday and Tuesday. Workers at Ford’s top cash cow, Kentucky Truck, had gone out October 11.

Ford caved on Wednesday rather than see the next domino fall at “the Rouge,” its F-150 plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which builds the country’s best-selling truck.

Throughout, the union’s strategy has been to play the Big 3 automakers against each other. The strike began September 15 with just one plant at each company called out. The union has escalated weekly, with negotiators rewarding a company that had made concessions to the union, by sparing it more strikes, and punishing those tardy to the table.

[Note: As Change Links went to press, settlement offers were reached with Stellantis (formerly Chrysler) and General Motors as well, also on terms favorable to the union.]

C-L Addendum: Meanwhile, labor struggles continue in Los Angeles. Although the WGA reached a contract agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP – the media conglomerates that own  the studios and broadcast networks), SAG-AFTRA is still out on strike, though negotiations had resumed as C-L went to press. More info on picketing here:

     UNITE-HERE Local 11 is continuing its rolling strikes against various area hotels and hotel chains. The union announced a tentative agreement in one strike. UNITE HERE Local 11 and the Laguna Cliffs Marriott have reached a tentative agreement on behalf of striking workers. The tentative agreement focuses on economic issues that, upon ratification, will raise wages, strengthen pensions, and increase investments in healthcare. The Laguna Cliffs Marriott is the fourth hotel to settle with workers since their contracts ended, June 30th. More information here: UNITE HERE Local 11 represents over 32,000 workers employed in hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas, and convention centers throughout Southern California and Arizona.

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