GM Layoffs 700 More Canadian Workers Due To UAW Strike

Thursday, 26 Sep, 2019

"Our hope was that there would be a quick end to the strike and that we could get back to our regular operating schedule as soon as this week", the statement said.

Union members across the state are seeing the UAW strike against GM as a moment for workers to push for corporations to give back some of the concessions unions gave during the Great Recession.

Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was in Detroit to picket with striking UAW workers at the huge General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant on Wednesday.

While "strong sales in August helped trim overall industry inventories to the lowest level in three years", said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Cox Automotive, "GM has enough inventory on the ground so as not to hinder sales in the short run".

"People are in for the long haul, people are in for the fight" says 41-year GM worker Lynn Howard-Watson of Parma, Ohio.

Borchers said he believes the average person likely won't be impacted by the strike. The strike has presently brought on GM to lay off one, 850 employees and shut down its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, around Toronto.

At Nissan's plant in Canton, Mississippi, where a union drive was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin in 2017, management is using large electronic billboards streaming anti-union messages throughout the facility to bash the UAW.

Democratic presidential candidates are showing support for the strikers.

Teama Dowdell, a 32-year-old GM worker, said Sanders has a lifelong history of standing up for workers rights. They got their last GM paycheck last week and will have to start living on $250 per week in strike pay starting this week.

Members of the union want better pay, job security and health care. Kennedy says the support has been "overwhelming", and stresses that the implications of this fight extend beyond GM workers here and around the country.

According to the company, the plant located in Berea, Kentucky will be unaffected.

The UAW set a bad precedent in 2009 when it agreed to set the wage scale from $15 to $17 at a GM plant in Brownstown, Michigan that assembled batteries for the now discontinued Volt.

A UAW white paper from the spring of this year lays out the stakes of the move from combustion to electric engines in stark terms: EVs require fewer parts and fewer jobs to manufacture and numerous parts are now supplied by non-union companies or are imported. He said that despite the GM strike and pending regulations on fuel, the industry will recover.