United Auto Workers Union Votes To Authorize A Strike
Workers are are reportedly asking for cost-of-living adjustments, which were suspended in 2007 when the American public bailed out the auto giants amid the Great Recession. The “COLA” adjustments (as UAW workers refer to them) date back to the ’50s. These are guaranteed raises matching the rate of inflation in the U.S., which are meant to maintain parity between worker pay and their living expenses.
Workers are also demanding an end to the tiered worker system, another relic of the Great Recession that allows automakers to pay employees different wages for doing the same work depending on when they were hired. Workers also say that there are now less (or no) full-time workers on assembly lines, as automakers much prefer to bring on so-called supplemental workers. This “temp worker” category lets automakers legally get away with not extending full-time benefits, such as competitive healthcare and full retirement pay.
Now that the union has authorized a possible strike, the onus is on automakers to return to the bargaining table in good faith with an offer the UAW’s 150,000 workers deem satisfactory. Either that or suffer one of the biggest strikes in the U.S. in the last half-century.