The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is continuing its strike against major automakers, demanding better wages and benefits for its members. On Sunday, October 1, 2023, a group of UAW members from Middle Tennessee joined their fellow workers in Memphis to show their support and solidarity.
UAW strike expands to Memphis distribution center
The UAW strike began on September 22, 2023, when nearly 13,000 workers walked off the job at midnight after failing to reach a deal with General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. The strike affects several plants and facilities across the country, including the AC Delco Distribution Center on Pleasant Hill Road in Memphis, which has ties to General Motors.
The workers at the Memphis distribution center joined the strike on September 23, 2023, and have been picketing outside the facility ever since. They are demanding higher pay, better health care, more job security and a fair share of the profits that the automakers have been making.
Middle Tennessee branch boosts morale in Memphis
On Sunday, October 1, 2023, the UAW members in Memphis received a visit from their colleagues from the Middle Tennessee branch of the union. The Middle Tennessee branch, which represents workers at the GM Spring Hill plant, drove to Memphis to stand and picket with their fellow members.
The visit was meant to boost the morale of the striking workers and to show them that they are not alone in their fight. The Middle Tennessee branch also brought food, water and supplies to the Memphis picket line.
Jeffrey Thomas, the president of UAW Local 2406, which represents the workers at the Memphis distribution center, said that the support from the Middle Tennessee branch was very appreciated and that the strike was a historic moment for the union.
“We are making our votes count, so I think it’s actually a generational movement, a generational twist,” Thomas said. “A moment in history, that is going to last for a long, long time.”
UAW strike enters 12th day with no deal in sight
The UAW strike is now in its 12th day, with no sign of a resolution. The union and the automakers have been negotiating, but have not reached an agreement on the key issues. The strike is costing the automakers millions of dollars per day in lost production and revenue.
President Joe Biden has expressed his support for the striking workers, and even visited the UAW picket line in Michigan on September 26, 2023. Biden said that the UAW workers deserved a 40% pay raise and that he was proud of their courage and solidarity.
The UAW strike is the largest and longest in the auto industry since 2019, when the union staged a 40-day strike against General Motors. The 2019 strike ended with a new contract that gave the workers higher wages, bonuses, profit sharing and health care benefits.
The UAW represents about 150,000 workers at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis in the United States. The union is hoping to secure a similar or better deal for its members in the current strike.