Thursday marks the 2-year anniversary of UAW/GM strike

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:59 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -”We took on a corporation that was making record profits,” said UAW region D1 Director, Steve Dawes.

It officially started at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 15 2019, the first auto strike in more than a decade.

That’s when nearly 50,000 union workers at GM plants all across the country walked off the job and onto the picket line.

A place they would stay for 40-days.

“They came to work for General Motors, not for a job, they came for a career and they understand that. And in order to have a career, you’ve got to come to work everyday, do a fair days work, and go home everyday and in between that, make some good wages and benefits,” Dawes said.

Dawes says workers just wanted what they believed they had earned.

Demands by workers included increased job security, a path for temporary workers to become permanent, better pay and retaining healthcare benefits.

“Our members were in there in the trenches on weekends, on hot, muggy days, cold wintery days when some things were shutdown they still braved the weather to come in there and it was time for the corporation to share some of their profits with the people that actually make the profits,” Dawes said.

Officials with the United Automobile Workers and General Motors announced a proposed tentative agreement on the 31st day of negotiations.

UAW-GM members ratified the proposed contract on Oct. 25, 2019 ending the longest automotive strike in 50 years.

One of the biggest issues workers fought for was healthcare. Dawes says it’s something that workers have appreciated over the past year and a half.

“God bless we did that, look at what we’ve been through and many of our members and their children have had to really use that,” Dawes said.

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