The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the nation’s three biggest carmakers, including Jeep parent company Stellantis, entered its third day as the UAW rejected a 21 percent wage increase offer over four years. The strike, which involves approximately 12,700 UAW members, or 8 percent of the union’s autoworkers, is the first time the UAW has gone on strike against all three of America’s biggest automakers simultaneously.
Stellantis, formed in 2021 through a merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s Peugeot, had offered the union a “highly competitive” 21 percent wage increase. Ford and GM also offered 20 percent raises over four years. However, UAW President Shawn Fain stated that the offers and terms presented by the automakers are insufficient, and the strike will continue.
Fain emphasized that the union has asked for 40 percent pay increases because CEO pay has risen by 40 percent in the last four years alone. The UAW is demanding pay increases and more equal treatment and benefits for temporary workers who have experienced lower pay compared to full-time workers for years.
The strike occurs amid historic low unemployment rates in the United States, but worker anxiety has been on the rise due to the fallout from the pandemic and higher inflation. While companies continue to post profits and increase executive pay, workers across various industries, including autoworkers, nurses, Hollywood scriptwriters, and actors, are experiencing a renewed interest in union activity as they seek better pay and job security.
Although the UAW strike currently affects only a small number of plants, Fain stated that the union is prepared to expand work stoppages and take further actions if better offers are not presented and their members’ needs are not met. The goal is to ensure that workers are properly compensated and have their demands addressed by the automakers.
It remains to be seen how long the strike will continue and what impact it will have on the industry. The UAW’s determination to fight for fair treatment and improved wages for their members demonstrates their commitment to protecting worker rights and advocating for better working conditions.