By Jacob Pamus
The United Auto Workers (UAW) continues to expand, with the strike now in its 26th day. On Sept. 29, the UAW added new locations: Fords’ Chicago Assembly plant and General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant in Michigan. The number of workers striking is now over 25,000.
Today, Canadian autoworkers walked out on strike against Ford in solidarity with the UAW in the U.S.
Ford did claim that a deal is close to being agreed upon, but UAW president Shawn Fain refutes that claim. “We are far apart on core economic proposals like retirement security and post-retirement healthcare, as well as job security in this EV transition.”
Fain additionally said “We’re still talking with all three companies. and I’m still very hopeful we can reach a deal that reflects the incredible sacrifices and contributions that our members have made over the last decade.”
The strike started on September 15th with 12,700 workers at a single plant for each major car manufacturing company. The Union is seeking higher wages, improved pension, and health care benefits. It is important to note that in 2007 and 2009, car manufacturers were close to bankruptcy, and now they are earning record-high profits, and workers are still earning the same amount even though the companies are so much more successful.
On September 26th, Joe Biden became the first sitting president to visit a picket line in person. When speaking to the UAW members, he said, “You’ve heard me say it many times. Wall Street didn’t build the country. The middle class built the country, and unions built the middle class.”
Former president Donald Trump visited a non-union car manufacturer, Drake Enterprise, nearby where Biden visited the strike. Even though he never actually went to the picket line, Trump used his speech to bash UAW leadership, the strike, and EVs.Trump also urged the UAW to endorse him. Shawn Fain, the UAW president, said, “I see no point in meeting with him because I don’t think the man has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for.”