UAW workers still on strike, but officials say progress made with Big Three

Trish Hartman Image
Friday, October 6, 2023
UAW workers still on strike; progress made with Big Three
UAW workers still on strike, but officials say progress made with Big Three

LANGHORNE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- United Auto Workers are still on strike, though union officials say progress is being made with the Big Three auto manufacturers.

"GM has now agreed in writing to place their electric battery manufacturing under our national master agreement," said UAW International President Shawn Fain in a live-streamed announcement on Friday afternoon.

Under the threat of more workers walking off the job, General Motors offered what the union is calling a major win: electric battery jobs will be placed under the UAW, rather than being outsourced.

"Our strike is working, but we're not there yet," said Fain.

SEE ALSO: Auto workers expand strike to 38 locations, including Langhorne, Pa.

In the mid-afternoon announcement, the head of the United Auto Workers gave an update on negotiations with the big three: Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler and Jeep.

The union says Ford is offering the highest pay raise so far at 23%. The other two are around 20%.

Workers are asking for 40%, plus cost of living allowances, and improvements to pensions and benefits.

Workers at the General Motors parts distribution center in Langhorne have been picketing for about two weeks now.

"I worked for GM seven years and I'm still not at the pay that I was making when I took the buyout at Ford in 2007. And here we are in 2023," said worker Gina Trent.

Thursday they were joined by Senator John Fetterman.

They say they're hoping for a better quality of life.

"I am living paycheck to paycheck," said Charmian Leslie-Hughes, the acting president of UAW Local 2177. "To put gas in my car, I can't even afford to buy a GM car and I work for GM for God's sake. It shouldn't be that big of a deal."

Because of the progress made, UAW did not call on more workers to strike.

Twenty-five thousand people are on the picket line nationwide right now.

On Friday afternoon GM said in a statement: "Negotiations remain ongoing, and we will continue to work towards finding solutions to address outstanding issues. Our goal remains to reach an agreement that rewards our employees and allows GM to be successful into the future."