What led to UAW considering strike & shaped their demands

What led up to the UAW impending strikes? Auto workers argue they've missed out on a fair share of the billions of dollars in profits from their labor.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 7:23 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - This has boiled up from years of failed promises and Union funds being embezzled by former UAW leaders that landed them in jail.

While at the same time, auto workers argue they’ve missed out on a fair share of the billions of dollars in profits from their labor.

Looking back on previous negotiations, Labor Union Relations expert Judy Ancel noticed one common demand workers are willing to strike over is higher wages and ending the two-tier paid system while working in the plants Which haven’t been met in previous contracts.

“Nine top leaders of the UAW went to jail over corruption over the last few years and it’s really culminated into I think a tremendous outpouring from the members,” Ancel stated. “That they want to see a change and they need to be able to earn a living wage and be able to retire with their bodies intact.”

In total, the Ford and GM Plants employ almost 10,000 full time workers around the Kansas City Metro.

If they all end up going on strike, Ancel explained negotiations then turn into who’s willing to hold out the longest.

“One side is waiting for the other side to give in,” Ancel explained. “It’s like a big game of chicken and at this point the workers are mobilized. The Labor movement is on the rise in this country. There’s historic support for unions.”

UAW leaders and America’s biggest three auto companies which include Ford and GM have until 10:59pm to reach an agreement tonight and avoid a strike.

Ancel argued the companies may settle for a strike due to offers taking a longtime to be presented to the unions.

“Usually the bargaining gets pretty bitty gritty down to the basics which is usually money,” Ancel continued. “But it really depends, I’m beginning to think the Big three want a strike because they have been so slow in making contract offers to respond.”

We attempted to speak to local UAW chapters around Kansas City but they were not available due to being in meetings all day for the negotiation process.