49,000 General Motors Employees Go On Strike


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UAW Workers picketing outside General Motor’s factories and facilities (from TIME.com)

Andy Mourelatos, A&E Editor

On September 15th, at 11:59 pm (ET.), almost 50,000 General Motors employees walked out after the United Auto Workers (UAW) and GM (General Motors) failed to reach an agreement on a new 4- year contract. The strike spans over 31 GM factories and 21 non-affiliated facilities nationwide.

The UAW stated that GM was favoring their profits over their employees. The strikers demand higher hourly wages, lump sum payments, and a better profit sharing plan. GM’s initial offer included $7 billion dollars in investments including 8 facilities in 4 states, and 5,400 new jobs, wage increases in each year of the plan. It also promised a solution to the closure of the Detroit plant and the Lordstown, Ohio plant. Negotiations and talks have been going on since the strike began, but there has yet to be any major agreement on a plan.

General Motors employees and members of the UAW had previously went on strike against the company in 2007, making the current strike the first US auto industry strike in 12 years. This strike isn’t just effecting the auto industry, it’s also negatively effecting the 10,000 suppliers GM purchases products and services from. “It also includes suppliers that sell GM things it needs to operate — hydraulic fluid for the equipment on the assembly lines, solvents used to keep the plants clean, and electricity to keep the plants’ lights on.” During this strike, GM have not been purchasing anything from these suppliers which causes a ripple effect to many other industries other than the auto industry.

As for consumers and auto dealerships, GM has built up a 59 day supply of cars, and an 80 day supply of trucks and SUVs. The company has a bigger supply than most others with the average being a 53 day supply. As talks are continuing and employees are still on strike, an agreement that is beneficial for everybody involved can hopefully surface.