The situation at the United Auto Workers has been tenuous over the past several weeks as workers have staged a strike against General Motors. As of now, no resolution has been reached and further labor disruption may be on the horizon. UAW President Gary Jones has recently warned that new walkouts could occur at any time, as negotiations remain at a stalemate between the union and the automaker.
On Wednesday, Jones addressed the tens of thousands of strikers who gathered at GM headquarters, warning them that they must remain united. He argued that the strength of the union depends upon their solidarity, and that potential walkouts should be seen as a last resort measure. Jones insisted that the union was doing everything it could to reach an agreement that would give workers the wages, benefits and job security that they were expecting.
Jones also noted that despite the strike, the union’s membership had grown substantially since it began. Jones argued that this was a sign that workers still have faith in the union and are standing together despite the disruptive effects of the strike.
The UAW and GM have reached concrete agreements in several areas, such as the new responsibilities of temporary employees and retirement security, but there is still a large gap between the two sides on items such as wages and health care. As the two sides remain at an impasse, the union has maintained that its members will continue to stand together until their demands are met. Jones will continue to work with the union to negotiate a deal that is suitable to both parties, but it seems that new walkouts are increasingly likely if the dispute is not resolved soon.