On a rainy Sunday, all eyes were on an industrial park in Kansas City, where Vice President Joe Biden showed solidarity with the United Auto Workers striking for affordable healthcare, better wages and fair and defined paths to permanent positions at General Motors. Hundreds of members and supporters came together to encourage GM to agree on a new contract that would protect workers.
Missouri Democratic Party staff and officers have come out to GM plants and UAW halls across Missouri several times this week to stand in solidarity on the picket line, help amplify the voices of the striking workers, and listen and learn from the stories of workers. I want to share some of what we’ve been hearing this week.
They’re fighting for fair wages, affordable quality healthcare, a fair share of profits, job security, and a clear path to permanent seniority for temp workers at GM. On Monday night, General Motors chose to terminate their health coverage immediately for more than 48,000 members and their families. GM is enjoying record profits and, despite those profits, GM has announced several U.S. plant closures. GM has spent months stonewalling and the first serious offer the UAW received came a few hours before the deadline.
Democrats recognize that for Missouri to have a skilled labor force it must have strong labor unions that will teach, defend, and sustain the workers to benefit Missouri’s economy. We support the prevailing wage and any legislative attempt to appeal or reduce said laws. We reject and denounce any attempt to reduce wages and/or benefits of Missouri workers. We support protecting the rights of all workers to organize and bargain collectively. We support establishing universal childcare and paid parental leave, developing programs to promote full employment, rejecting so-called “Right to Work” laws, legislation that will defend our Labor Unions and expand labor rights, equal pay for equal work initiatives and the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, defending the Minimum wage, and raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.
During this important UAW strike, please stand with our sisters and brothers in labor by donating toiletries, dog and cat food, formula, ziploc baggies, and baby supplies to a local UAW in Missouri. We encourage you to join workers on the picket line; the more pressure we can put on the company, the faster the strike will end for these workers. For social media advocacy, use the hashtag #StandWithUs. Learn more about GM’s North American assembly plants and key information about bargaining at https://uaw.org/gmbargaining/ and more about the Strike at https://uaw.org/strike-faq/
Jean Peters Baker