Why the UAW is fighting so hard for these 4 key demands in the auto strike

The United Auto Workers (UAW) are leading a strike for higher wages and greater job security amidst the industry’s transition to electric vehicles.

The Strive for More: UAW demands around a 40% general wage increase and reinstatement of cost of living protections.
* This demand comes in light of inflation-adjusted wages dropping over 20% in the past two decades for factory workers.
* The UAW is influenced by wage increases achieved by unions at companies like UPS and American Airlines.
* Cost of living protections, or COLA, was given up during the 2008 financial crisis and the UAW is pushing to have this reinstated to ensure wages keep up with inflation.

Leveling the Playing Field: The UAW wants to abolish the two-tier system for wages and healthcare benefits.
* Since union concessions in 2007, new hires have been paid less than existing workers doing the same job.
* UAW is pushing for equal pay after 90 days, a significant decrease from the current eight-year progression scheme.
* The UAW is also fighting for the same healthcare and pension benefits for new hires that veteran employees receive.

Negotiating Job Security: The UAW demands the right to strike over plant closures while aiming for compensation in the event of a shutdown.
* This is particularly reflective of the anxiety related to the industry transition to EVs and potential plant shutdowns.
* Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, has previously cited high EV transition costs to justify plant shutdowns.
* Companies are requesting the unilateral right to close and sell up to 18 facilities, which the UAW strongly opposes.

View original article on NPR

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