National Consumers League

NCL statement in support of UAW Strike

September 17, 2019

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) has announced its support for the 48,000 United Auto Workers who have gone on strike this week to demand their share of the $12 billion profits GM earned last year. The strike also comes in protest of GM’s announcement that it–the largest of American automakers–would shutter four different U.S. plants.

“We stand with UAW members who are asking for what is only fair–a reasonable share of the enormous profits GM has enjoyed in the past year alone. The UAW loyally took a hit a decade ago to keep GM profitable and viable. Without the workers, there would be no cars and no profits. Ten years later, with GM back earning billions in profits, auto workers are entitled to enjoy this success and the fruits of their labor: better pay, profit sharing, and an end to GM’s bringing in temporary workers that reduce pay and benefits. Workers also deserve improved health care benefits,” said Sally Greenberg, the League’s executive director.

More than a decade ago when GM was facing bankruptcy, UAW members bore a significant portion of the sacrifices to bring the automaker back to financial health. At the time, the union agreed to a plan whereby General Motors hired many new workers at roughly half the pay of unionized members and greatly reduced their retirement benefits. Then GM brought in temporary workers with even fewer wage-and-benefit packages and little job security.

“GM has reduced its U.S. payrolls, announced it is closing four plants in the United States, and moved a number of others to Mexico–all of which has helped to restore GM to its current health and ability to earn billions in profits, at the sacrifice of its workers,” said Greenberg.

“NCL supports the 48,000 workers who are demanding what is theirs: a fair share in more than 50 GM plants and other locations across the Midwest and South,” said Greenberg. “We support these hardworking women and men and call on GM to sit down with the union and arrive at a contract that shares the benefits of GM’s current profits with its dedicated, hardworking employees.”

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.