In 2023, American workers are officially fed up. Inflation is hurting working families, and wages are remaining the same. This built-up frustration has led us into a season of unions fighting for fair pay across industries.
I feel that people need to make AT LEAST $30/hr to survive these days. and that’s the minimum.
— Please get a job. (@TheRealDrePapi) September 18, 2023
Last Friday, 13,000 US Auto Workers joined the "Hot Strike Summer" movement by walking off the job in protest for the first time in 88 years.
The United Auto Workers union launched a historic strike Friday against all three of Detroit’s biggest automakers after its contracts expired, with the first picket lines beginning at a Ford plant in Wayne, Mich., a General Motors plant in Wentzville, Mo., and a Stellantis plant… pic.twitter.com/Sjv35IUDsz
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 15, 2023
According to MSNBC, these are the United Auto Workers' list of demands:
“In the last four years, the price of cars went up 30%. CEO pay went up 40%... No one had any complaints about that, but God forbid the workers ask for their fair share," UAW President Shawn Fain told CNN.
One striker named Lee Maybanks, a second-generation Ford employee, told the Washington Post: "Look at UPS. UPS makes how much now? No disrespect, they deliver boxes. You know what we do? Go get one of those Bronco Raptors and turn it on. We build America."
The public has seemingly grown tired of seeing working people not being able to afford to live. According to a recent Gallup poll, 75% of people surveyed sympathized with US Auto Workers over auto companies.
INCREDIBLE THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN AMERICA!!!!! https://t.co/I5aikPqMW5
— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) September 15, 2023
CNN / @UAW / @hasanthehun
Here's how President Biden responded during a recent news conference: "I understand the workers' frustration. Record corporate profits which they have, should be shared by record contracts for the UAW (United Auto Workers)."
The CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, made things worse for herself by interviewing with CNN, where she was directly asked: "If you're getting a 34% pay increase over four years, and you're offering 20% to employees right now, do you think that's fair?"
The CEO of General Motors just went on CNN and it went like this:"You've seen a 34 percent pay increase in your salary.You make almost 30 million. Why should your workers not get the same type of pay increases that you're getting leading the company?" pic.twitter.com/wFnCZD86RR
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) September 15, 2023
The clip has received over 7.6 million views.
You can watch her full response for yourself, but in short, she used a lot of corporate media jargon to argue that it's fair.
In response to the CEO comments, one user wrote, "Looks like Mary Barra went to the Bob Iger School of 'I Shouldn't Have Agreed to This Interview.' There is nothing CEOs can say to justify massive multimillion dollar pay increases to their already bloated salaries while workers struggle to pay rent."
Looks like Mary Barra went to the Bob Iger School of I Shouldn’t Have Agreed to This Interview.There is nothing CEOs can say to justify massive multimillion dollar pay increases to their already bloated salaries while workers struggle to pay rent. #PayYourWorkers https://t.co/49GwbuiRr7
— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) September 15, 2023
CNN / @MorePerfectUS / @slack2thefuture
Another user challenged the CEO's argument, writing: "Adding in the benefits and everything as a way to say it's fair when you get those same benefits but a substantially larger wage...profit sharing is cool, but that does not change/improve the overall wage."
Adding in the benefits and everything as a way to say it’s fair when you get those SAME benefits but a substantially larger wage.. profit sharing is cool but that does not change/improve the overall wage. https://t.co/BVIbATtVP8
— Weighn (@iAmMrCarson) September 15, 2023
CNN / @MorePerfectUS @IAmMrCarson
Another user wrote: "As a former PR girly I really appreciate how hot strike summer has truly laid bare how much of corporate media strategy relies on an uninformed public."
as a former PR girly i REALLY appreciate how hot strike summer has truly laid bare how much of corporate media strategy relies on an uninformed public https://t.co/ukWT8MhaFi
— this barbie is a cackling hag (@lesliezye) September 15, 2023
CNN / @MorePerfectUS / Twitter: @lesliezye
Of course, not everyone is in support of the UAW strike. This was part of Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate Tim Scott's response: "We're seeing UAW fight for more benefits and less hours working... We have to find a way to encourage and inspire people to go back to work."
Sen. Scott on auto workers strike in comments at policy roundtable in South Carolina, “...We’re seeing UAW fight for more benefits and less hours working. More pay, fewer days on the job. It’s a disconnect from work and we have to find a way to encourage...ppl to go back to work" pic.twitter.com/yuQ5qKwgPz
— Eva McKend (@evamckend) September 15, 2023
The Majority Report With Sam Seder / @evamckend / Via youtube.com