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The UAW Strike Reaches West Chester: What's Next for Local Auto Workers?
By Madeline Fening,
Workers at General Motor's Cincinnati Parts Distribution Center in West Chester are officially on strike as of noon today.
The move comes after United Auto Workers (UAW) union President Shawn Fain announced that 5,600 workers at 38 General Motors and Stellantis parts distribution centers across 20 states will walk off the job while Ford negotiates in the wings.
"The world is watching and the people are on our side. We've seen poll after poll come out saying the American people support what we're doing," Fain said during a Sept. 22 Facebook live announcement. "Now it's time to hit the picket lines across the country. It's time to show the companies we are united, we are fired up and we are ready for a record contract." [content-1] In an effort to ensure fair compensation and working conditions amid an industry shift from gas to electric vehicles , union negotiators are seeking:
Wage increases/restoration of cost-of-living pay raises
An end to varying tiers of wages for factory jobs
A 32-hour work week with full-time pay
Benefit pensions for new hires
Pension increases for retirees
The 123 West Chester employees at the GM facility on Jacquemin Drive have joined forces with the 13,000 striking auto plant employees at three Midwestern auto plants. Those workers first walked off the job on Sept. 15 at a GM site in Wentzville, Missouri; a Stellantis center in Toledo, Ohio; and a Ford assembly location in Wayne, Michigan. [content-2] The nearly 1,800 workers at Ford's transmission plant in Sharonville have not yet been called to strike. Fain said Ford has made serious progress as the company works to meet the union's demands, including agreeing to reinstate a cost of living adjustment that was last suspended in 2009. Ford will also convert all temporary employees to full-time and grant the union the right to strike over plants closures.