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UAW *Strikes* Tentative Deal With GM. Guess Who's Not Stopping There!
No, YOU just Googled 'Is Shawn Fain married?'
What is this magic? A day and a half (maybe not even?) after Stellantis (that’s Chrysler etc.) agreed to a sweet, sweet deal with the United Auto Workers, and mere minutes after we wrote up the sweet, sweet news, General Motors has agreed to a deal as well.
While UAW President Shawn Fain has yet to put out a video on Facebook to explain the deal (it will likely come out later in the day), CNBC reports that the deal is similar to those struck with Ford and Stellantis.
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Those agreements significantly raised the wages of Ford and Stellantis employees by at least 25 percent over four years with immediate raises of 11 percent (and way, way more for temp workers and others), and also included Cost of Live Adjustments (COLA) and the right to strike over plant closures. The GM deal is reportedly similar.
You might think that, following these victories, the UAW would want to take a beat and celebrate a job well done. Well, they’re not doing that, because they’ve got workers at the Mack Truck factory in Macungie, Pennsylvania, to take care of.
On social media, the union asked “that friends, family and the community come out to support our UAW Local 677 family on strike against Mack Truck this Thursday, November 2nd at 11 am ET for a Solidarity Rally!”
It’s almost as if, when one group of workers gets a good deal, that idea spreads to other workers and then they decide to get a good deal for themselves.
The UAW also does not want to stop at just helping those in their own union — leadership has asked other unions to set their next contracts to expire on April 30, 2028, the same day the UAW’s contract expires.
Why? Well, because it’s an incredibly smart move, solidarity-wise, for a large number of unions to all negotiate their contracts at the same time. Why that particular date, though? Because May Day.
The UAW posted a statement to social media explaining the plan.
The Stand Up Strike will go down in history as an inflection point for our union, and for our movement.
We went to each of the Big Three and proposed an expiration date of April 30, 2028. We did this for several reasons. First, this allows us to strike on May Day, or International Workers’ Day. May Day was born out of the intense struggle by workers in the United States to win an eight-hour day. That’s a struggle that is just as relevant today as it was in 1889. Even though May Day has its roots here in the United States, it is widely celebrated by workers all over the world. It’s more than just a day of commemoration, it’s a call to action. We invite unions around the country to align your contract expirations with our own so that together we can begin to flex our collective muscles.
If we are going to truly take on the billionaire class and rebuild the economy so that it starts to work for the benefit of the many and not the few, then it’s important that we not only strike, but that we strike together.
Secondly, we demanded a longer contract because one of our biggest goals coming out of this historic contract victory is to organize like we’ve never organized before. When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won’t just be with the Big Three, but with the Big Five or Big Six.
This contract is about more than just economic gains for autoworkers. It’s a turning point in the class war that has been raging in this country for the past forty years. For too long it’s been one-sided and working class people have been losing. That’s why this contract is more than just a contract.
It’s a call to action to workers everywhere to organize and to fight for a better life. Billionaires aren’t going to save the American Dream. Working class people are saving the American Dream. The UAW is saving the American Dream.
And we are doing it together.
It is difficult to impart what a very big deal it is that they are organizing around May Day, and that they are more or less calling for a general strike.
That was, of course, the original plan for May Day — a worldwide general strike to remind the world that it cannot actually function without workers, which itself is a pretty good argument for paying them enough to live. As they said, it is celebrated around the world, but not in the United States. Why?
Long story short — on May 4, 1886, during a rally supporting workers who were protesting for an eight-hour workday at Haymarket Square in Chicago, some participant threw a bomb at the police who were trying to make everyone leave. It killed seven police officers and four civilians. In response to the crime, police arrested eight anarchists, six of whom were not even at the rally to begin with, charged them with “conspiracy” with practically zero evidence, and then sentenced all but one to death. Because really, what is more American than reacting to a tragedy by rashly killing people who had nothing to do with it?
May Day began as a commemoration of that day and a remembrance of the Haymarket martyrs.
Due to its roots in radicalism and in shitty wrongful convictions, the US really did not want workers here celebrating that day, so they created Labor Day as an alternative. You know, so that people would have mattress sales and barbecues instead of strikes. A major US labor union organizing around that day? That is for sure a sign that they mean business.