Nearly 50,000 members of the United Automobile Workers union went on strike at General Motors for better wages and idled plants.
Thousands of union workers took to the streets across the Midwest Monday morning after regional leaders in Detroit unanimously voted to authorize the strike this past Sunday. This is the first stoppage in the U.S. auto industry since 2007. The strike began at Midnight, following the union’s current bargaining agreement, which expired on Saturday.
“Today, we stand strong and say with one voice, we are standing up for our members and for the fundamental rights of working-class people in this nation,” said Terry Dittes, a union vice president. Negotiations resumed at 10 a.m. on Monday. The workers are fighting for wage improvements, the reopening of idled plants, and demanding to close or narrow the difference between pay rates for new hires and veteran workers. According to the New York Times, GM wants employees to pay a bigger portion of their health care costs, and to increase workforce productivity and flexibility in factories.
General Motors made a massive amount of profits last year, raking in $8.1 billion globally. The New York Times reports that the company has three idled plants in the U.S. as car sales are declining and the demand for vehicles lowers. This also is a result of #DonaldTrump’s trade war with China, which puts stress on manufacturers.