Following the successful outcome of the disputes with the three big US auto manufacturers over the past months in which the United Autoworkers won most of its demands from employers, the tentative agreements are currently being voted on across the USA by members working at Fords, Stellantis and General Motors.
In a livestream address to UAW members on what was won in the tentative agreements UAW president Shawn Fain said the union now had to move forward and begin organising non-union auto manufacturing plants in the US, including Tesla and German companies who have resisted unionisation.
Fain said: “Already, thousands of non-union autoworkers are inspired by our victory and starting to organise. Non-union automakers like Toyota are raising wages because they know their workers are ready to stand up. It goes far beyond the Big Three.
He told UAW members: “What we win back in our pay checks is much more than just a dollar amount. What we win in these contracts is a reflection of our strength as a united working class. What we won in these agreements is a new muscle, a new chapter in the story of the UAW, a new understanding of our collective power. We don’t just win when we get a raise. We win when working people everywhere start to understand our shared interest and our shared fight. We win when workers at Toyota, Subaru, Honda, Hyundai and other companies see what we’ve achieved and get ready to stand up for themselves.”
In an exclusive message sent to the Morning Star who gave their full backing to the UAW Fain said: “Fighting and winning is contagious. The best thing we can do for one another is show each other how to be brave, how to be creative, and how to Stand Up for economic and social justice. That’s what our Stand Up Strike was about. We needed to fight like we never fought before – and win like we’ve never won before. We had doubters. We had naysayers. And we had enemies. But we also had champions. We had leaders. We had organisers.
I don’t mean people like me. People who get on TV. Or people who wear suits. I mean the workers who really run these companies and members who really run the union. People who fight like their life depends on it, because it does.
People who take the word “solidarity” and make it mean something. Workers from more than 50 unions in 26 countries took action to support our strike, from as far away as Malaysia and as close as our backyard neighbours in Mexico.
The foreign press and union press got the word out to every corner of the globe. These important acts of international solidarity undoubtedly sent a message to the companies that we have power, that the working class is ready to Stand Up everywhere.”