Is it over yet?


"Ignacio Meneses of the US/Cuba Labor Exchange with Mike Shane of MECAWI walking the picket line in solidarity with the UAW strikers at American Axle. Abayomi Azikwe in background. (Photo: Alan Pollock)." by Abayomi Azikiwe from Flickr, C 

Olivia Kinney, Writer

It has been the longest strike for the auto industry in over 20 years after 40 days of nearly 50,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) being on crucial strike. General Motors proposed a deal two weeks ago and recently received majority vote, but what does that mean for the UAW?

Leading up to the strike was the UAW wanting some of the previous things workers gave up in contracts of the past. UAW demanded for improved wages, health care, and a path to permanent jobs for temporary workers. General Motors Worker and Mason resident Jason Harns got frustrated over the past few weeks due to lack of work and pay. 

“The loss of income has affected me most” said Harns ready for the strike to be over. “A lot of workers on strike are running out of money.”

The amount of money workers earned was quite shocking. Most UAW have to take up side jobs in order to pay for basic necessities. Senior Alyssa Page has been through the struggle herself, as her dad went on strike.

“Every Friday night from midnight to 4 am he was picketing. My dad planned for a strike to happen so he saved some money but he wasn’t expecting it to last this long so he got really broke,” said Page. “The only pay you get when GM is on strike is when you go picketing and you get $250 (a week).”                  

The workers not getting paid and General Motors losing millions per day left the two sides under an intense amount of pressure; leaning the proposal towards ratification. The agreement consisted of a $11,000 ratification bonus for eligible employees and a $4,500 bonus for temporary employees, two 3 percent raises, 4 percent lump raises, and a path for temporary workers to be permanent. General Motors’s contract passed with 57% of members voting yes and 43% voting no, allowing workers to finally return to work. 

“The deal is the best they are going to get,” said Page.

Moving forward from the strike, General Motors is trying to quickly get back up on their feet and continue producing high quality vehicles for their customers. UAW didn’t get exactly what they wished for but they still benefited from the General Motors contract.