Posts tagged Shawn Fain
Commentary: Unions are coming not just for the few, but for everyone
December 6, 2023 // This week brought wonderful news on that front. The United Auto Workers (UAW), fresh off a historic, victorious strike against the Big Three automakers, announced plans to unionize not just one, not two, but more than a dozen of the remaining non-union auto companies in the US. Tesla, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen – essentially all of them. After the attractive contracts won in the strikes brought a flood of interest from workers across the country, the union has decided to seize the moment. The UAW is aiming to be exactly where a strong union needs to be: everywhere. Is this plan bold? Yes. Will it be difficult? Yes. Are they in for years-long fights against enormous multinational corporations backed by hostile state governments? Yes. But the great insight that the UAW is showing here is this: the fact that facing down an existential threat will be hard doesn’t matter. If the auto workers’ union is not capable of organizing foreign companies’ auto plants in hostile southern states, its power will die; and if it is not capable of organizing workers at rich and growing and staunchly anti-union companies like Tesla, its power will die. So the choices are to do those things, or die. Despite the difficulty of the task, the choice, when presented like that, is very easy.
UAW launches campaign to unionize Toyota, Tesla and other automakers
November 30, 2023 // United Auto Workers union said its next target is to unionize factory workers at Lucid, Rivian, Tesla and 10 foreign automakers, a move that comes after it garnered new employment contracts from Detroit's Big Three automakers. BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Mazda, Mercedes, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo are based overseas but all have manufacturing operations in the U.S. Because these companies have brought in billions of dollars in profit over the past decade, their hourly factory workers deserve to make more money, UAW President Shawn Fain said in a video Wednesday.
UAW, Blue Cross leaders reach tentative ‘verbal agreement’ that could end 77-day strike
November 29, 2023 // Phone calls between BCBSM CEO Daniel Loepp and UAW President Shawn Fain over the past several weeks produced a "verbal agreement" between the two leaders towards the establishment of a collective bargaining agreement, Blue Cross said late Tuesday. The tentative agreement includes "significant general wage increases," a $6,500 ratification bonus for Blue Cross Blue Shield employees and a $5,000 ratification bonus for employees of BCBSM's Blue Care Network HMO, according to the UAW." Over the years, we have lost so much work. They've taken our work and given it to outside contractors," Gates said in mid-September when the BCBSM employees went on strike. "At one point we were over 4,000, 5,000 people (in the union) across the state. Now we have 1,300 people. So we're tired of bleeding. We're tired of them taking our work.
UAW Wage Gains Filter Over to Non-Union Workers
November 29, 2023 // Volkswagen of America and Nissan are joining the cluster of non-union automakers offering their employees double-digit pay raises in the wake of contract settlements negotiated by the UAW in the wake of the union’s so-called “Stand-up Strike.” Both companies are no strangers to tangling with the UAW, fighting off organizing efforts within the past decade. VW, with the help of Tennessee’s Republican political establishment, blocked a UAW organizing drive by fewer than 100 votes in a 2019 vote supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. Nissan defeated a 2017 organizing effort in Canton, MS, by a 2-to-1 margin in a drive undermined by corruption charges which were then haunting the union. Earlier this year, Nissan says it defeated an International Association of Machinists effort to organize tool-and-die makers employed at the company’s manufacturing plant in Smyrna, TN, in a vote supervised by the NLRB.
Commentary: Expect More UAW Strikes, and Be Prepared
November 21, 2023 // Many sectors could see the impact of labor momentum. Every union should be studying the UAW negotiations and strikes. The circumstances will be different at each company and negotiation, but a more aggressive and strategic approach is likely to be valuable in many contexts. Unions should also look at the UAW ratification process, internal communications, supplier headaches and unionization drives for lessons to emulate and avoid. On the management side, companies – particularly if they are unionized – should expect unions to follow the new playbook. Employers will need to study the lessons as well and prepare for a more confrontational labor environment. Companies other than the D3 should firmly resist the pressure to align their contract expiration and avoid what is likely to be a confrontational spring in 2028. This is only a small example of how companies would benefit from the 360° perspective that game theory and scenario wargaming give in complex and uncertain times.
Ford workers join those at GM in approving contract settlement that ended UAW strikes
November 20, 2023 // The United Auto Workers union overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with Ford, a pact that, along with similar deals with General Motors and Stellantis, will raise pay across the industry, force automakers to absorb higher costs and help reshape the auto business as it shifts away from gasoline-fueled vehicles. Workers at Ford voted 69.3% in favor of the pact, which passed with nearly a 15,000-vote margin in balloting that ended early Saturday. Earlier this week, GM workers narrowly approved a similar contract. At Stellantis, 68.7% of workers favored ratification, an insurmountable lead with votes at only two small facilities left to be counted.
Here’s why the UAW’s record deals with GM, Ford and Stellantis aren’t getting full support
November 16, 2023 // At least three major assembly plants representing 9,730, or 21%, of GM’s 46,000 UAW-represented employees have voted against the pact. They include 61% against at Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan, which builds Buick and Chevrolet crossovers; 67.5% rejection at a Cadillac and GMC crossover plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee; and 52% opposed at GM’s Flint, Michigan, truck plant. A handful of other smaller plants also have voted against the deal. At Ford, the automaker’s Kentucky Truck Plant — its largest in terms of employment and revenue — had 54.5% of members vote against it. The UAW reached tentative deals with each of the automakers, so each is voted on separately. One or more could fail, while another ratifies. They are not contingent on one another.
Video: UAW President Shawn Fain testifies in front of Congress
November 14, 2023 // UAW President Shawn Fain testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) during a hearin called "Standing Up Against Corporate Greed; How Unions are Improving the Lives of Working Families." It featured Fain, Teamsters President Sean O'Brien and AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson.
General Motors workers in Michigan reject United Auto Workers’ deal
November 9, 2023 // The union’s historic concessions from the automakers are a far cry from the UAW’s stated goals during the strike. UAW President Shawn Fain had repeatedly demanded 40% pay raises, the reintroduction of pension plans and a reduced four-day workweek. The union did not secure pension plans or a reduced work week, and the pay increases top out at just over 20%.
The UAW is already looking ahead to its next auto strike
November 8, 2023 // Fain has not shied away from rhetoric that critics accuse of being “radical” or “class warfare.” In one of the videos he recorded during the auto strike, the UAW president wore a t-shirt that read “Eat the Rich.” And he’s not shy about complaining about the “billionaire class” when making a call to action for members. Any criticism of May Day is not likely to scare him away from embracing it.