2019 General Motors strike
The 2019 General Motors strike began September 15th, 2019, with the walkout of 48,000 United Automobile Workers from some 50 plants in the United States. Demands by workers included increased job security, gateway for temporary workers to become permanent, better pay and retaining healthcare benefits
During the Great Recession and economic uncertainty that followed, unionized automotive workers accepted concessions to allow GM and other companies to recover. Though GM has since received large tax breaks and returned to profitability, worker compensation has remained stagnant, and the company continues to shutter American facilities and move some jobs abroad.
The contract between the UAW and General Motors expired September 14th, and the strike began at 11:59pm on Sunday, September 15th, 2019. A two day difference between contract expiration and the beginning of a strike is unusually short, but likely motivated by the prolonged negotiations between management and the union. The strike involved 48,000 GM employees.
On September 26th, it was announced that GM would start to pay health insurance again to people on strike.
On October 16th, It was announced that GM and The UAW agreed on a new labor contract that could end a month-long strike by 48,000 workers. Although the agreement between GM and UAW has not been officially approved, and workers who are still on strike said that they will wait until the deal has been approved completely before they return to their jobs. The new contract was ratified by UAW members on October 25th, ending the strike
An analyst for Credit Suisse estimated GM could lose as much as $50 million each day the strike continues, while other analysts estimated daily losses could be as high as $100 million per day. GM's share of the automobile market has decreased from 30% in the late 1990s to 17% today, meaning the strike will likely have fewer implications for the economy at large when compared to labor actions in the past. The strike was also predicted to possibly lead to impacts on GM factories abroad, which rely on parts produced in American factories closed due to the strike, and on suppliers such as Canada-based Magna International.
At the beginning of the strike, GM had roughly 83 days' worth of inventory available for sale, temporarily insulating its supply chain from the impact of the strike.
On Saturday September 21, Senator Elizabeth Warren, running at the time for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, joined a UAW picket line in Detroit. Other Democratic contenders for the nomination including Senator Bernie Sanders, former vice-president Joe Biden, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Representative Tim Ryan, also visited picket lines during the strike.
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