News & Commentary

August 16, 2023

Jacqueline Rayfield

Jacqueline Rayfield is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s News and Commentary, UAW moves for strike votes at three Detroit automakers, and Trader Joe’s workers protest retaliation against organizers.

United Auto Workers urges 150,000 members to authorize a strike at three Detroit automakers, General Motors, Ford Motors, and Stellantis by August 24. This move would enable workers to strike once their contracts expire on September 14. The union reports that talks with all three automakers have not reached agreement on any economic issues. The union has asked for a 40% raise over a four-year contract. “Our priorities are clear, the companies can afford them, and there’s plenty of time for the Big Three to get serious about these negotiations,” the union explained. The three automakers have reported a combined $250 billion in profits over the past ten years.

Trader Joe’s workers rallied outside of the company’s Boston headquarters yesterday to protest firing of union leader Steven Andrade. Andrade had worked for Trader Joe’s for 18 years but was fired in June 2022 after union engagement. Andrade and the union claim this firing was in retaliation for his union support. “If Trader Joe’s wasn’t scared of worker power, they would come to the table and negotiate a fair contract,” one union leader explained.

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