ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The United Auto Workers union have entered their sixth week on strike and it’s starting to take a toll on the automotive industry.
The union initially asked for a 40% raise, Cost of living wage adjustment, and a pension. The new strategy used by the UAW union to strike against the big three automakers, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, appears to be taking a toll. That strategy included taking out the parts distribution network of these corporations so when people try to get their cars repaired there would be a spare parts issue to apply pressure. Part of the strike is to get back wages that were reduced following the 2008 economic crash when UAW employees were making around $27 an hour.
“These corporations have been so profitable on the backs of our workers sacrifices,” said local UAW union president Dan Maloney. “It’s time for us to get back what was taken. That’s what this strike is about.”
“There’s like 15 years of angst and anxiety about this as our wages stagnated,” added Carmen Guzman, plant worker and Local Union financial secretary. “I wasn’t there but I’ve been there for 10 years and I know that my job is worth more because they used to pay more to do it.”
On a phone call today, Brad McAreavy, president of the Rochester Automobile Dealers’ Association said that dealership’s stockpile is coming down and that the strike is impacting shops across the country. Dealerships often share parts, he said, but as stock dwindles, they won’t be able to help out.
Local 1097 say they are on the bench and on standby in case they are called to strike. However, according to reports, the union has made a counter-offer to Ford that proposes a 25% wage increase over a four-year contract.