The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike has officially expanded as the union announces it is shutting down a RAM truck plant in Michigan. After weeks of negotiations between the union and the company, the two sides have failed to come to an agreement.
The picket lines now encompass more than 8,000 workers, as the union insists that the company must address issues like wages, benefits, job security and the use of temporary workers or the strike will continue.
The work stoppage has so far affected multiple automakers, including Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler. The dust-up began on September 16th, when workers at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, temporarily walked off the job over differences with the company, making it the first strike the UAW has called in the auto industry since 2007.
Since then, the strike has spread, with workers initially picketing, and now, some 1,200 UAW members at the RAM truck plant near Sterling Heights, Michigan, joining the nationwide labor walkout.
The UAW’s goal is to help secure better wages and benefits for current and proposed GM workers across the country, as well as putting an end to the automaker’s heavy reliance on temporary workers. While the negotiations are ongoing, the union continues to add more plants and members to the list of those on strike, in the hopes of securing a better deal from GM.
The current expansion shows just how determined the UAW is and is a testament to the strength of organized labor in the United States. With no end in sight, the situation remains unpredictable, and will require both sides to come to the negotiation table and reach an agreement before the dispute is finally resolved.