Workers of General Motors went on strike on Sunday night, after announcing the strike on Sunday morning. This is the first time in 12 years that the workers have walked out of the factories. Almost 50,000 permanent and temporary workers will be on strike until their demands are met.
Increased hourly pay, a better share of the profits, health care benefits and job security are the main demands of the workers. The permanent workers want to limit the number of temporary workers employed. The temporary workers want a clearer career trajectory, which can lead to permanent employment in the long run.
Union leaders claim that when GM was facing bankruptcy, the workers took steps to help the company bounce back. Now that the auto company is making profits again, the employees want a greater share of the profits. 31 GM factories and 21 other related factories saw workers walk out on Sunday over these demands. The last strike by the plant workers was back in 2007 and it lasted only three days. However, there have been strikes in the past which have lasted for months. The workers will not return to their workplace until a deal is made.
According to CNN, GM has already made an offer to the union. The company has proposed an increase in pay and better shares of the profits. A $7m (£5.6m, €6.3m) investment towards a new project would ensure the job of 5,400 workers. GM representatives would be meeting with the UAW leaders to negotiate the demands.
GM's announcement of the shut down of plants in Detroit and Lordstown would be one of the key points that the UAW would discuss during the meeting.
Slow sales of automobiles have come at a time when GM is trying to invest in developing electric and self-driving vehicles. To prioritise the investment, GM planned to shut down plants. However, shutting down the plants would lead to the unemployment of many workers. UAW wants to ensure that the workers of the plants which have been or will be shut down remain employed.