Labor News 10/25/23

October 25, 2023

  • The biggest labor news around the country is that yesterday around 5,000 workers at the General Motors plant here in Arlington walked out, joining the United Auto Workers’ Stand Up Strike against the big three auto makers. There are now 45,000 workers on strike nationwide. Negotiations have yielded significant results, according to UAW, but more is needed. From yesterday’s UAW statement:

On Tuesday morning, 5,000 members at Arlington Assembly joined the Stand Up Strike, shutting down production at General Motors’ largest plant and biggest moneymaker.

The workers who make some of GM’s most profitable vehicles, the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade, are joining the unprecedented Stand Up Strike against all three of the Big Three automakers. The move comes just hours after GM reported third-quarter earnings of $3.5 billion, one day after the union struck Stellantis’ largest plant, Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP), and just a few days after the union detailed the shortcomings of GM’s latest contract offer.

“Another record quarter, another record year. As we’ve said for months: record profits equal record contracts.” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “It’s time GM workers, and the whole working class, get their fair share.”

Despite having made $10 billion in profits in the past nine months, breaking revenue records for another consecutive quarter, and beating Wall Street expectations, GM’s latest offer fails to reward UAW members for the profits they’ve generated. GM’s offer lags behind Ford, with the company proposing a two-tier wage progression, the weakest 401(k) contribution offer on the table, a deficient COLA and other shortcomings. On the heels of their previous quarter, which set “a post-bankruptcy record” in terms of revenue, it is clear that GM can afford a record contract and do more to repair the harm done by years of falling real wages and declining standards across the Big Three.

In AFM news, two months after their strike authorization vote, musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra, members of Local 77, have ratified a new agreement, which includes higher pay and increased work protections.

In Local 802 New York City, musicians of the Distinguished Concerts International of New York orchestra won their first collective bargaining agreement, after four years of negotiations. The New York City Ballet’s campaign for a fair contract continues, with rallies held recently at Lincoln Center at the organization’s Gala and Anniversary concerts.

In other labor news, pharmacy technicians are continuing their ULP strike against Kaiser Permanente – bargaining resumed two days ago.

Many casino workers have gone on strike in Detroit over wages and health care, involving dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, engineers, and others. Since the end of the pandemic, casino profits have hit record highs as workers wages have eroded.

Our fellow entertainment union SAG-AFTRA’s strike recently passed its hundredth day, and talks have recently resumed. Some union leaders in the AFL-CIO are calling this strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers one of the most important in history. The AFM will begin negotiations with AMPTP next year.