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labor unions

Tony Vacca stands in solidarity with GM workers currently on strike outside of the Parma plant on Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

Nearly four weeks into the United Auto Workers' strike against General Motors, employees are starting to feel the pinch of going without their regular paychecks.

With the UAW strike against General Motors in its fourth week, the automaker is losing millions of dollars. So are the businesses that supply GM. Many of their workers have also been out of work for four weeks, but unlike the striking UAW workers, their plight is much less visible.

Lansing, Mich., has nine regional GM suppliers. These are companies that do everything from producing ads to making parts for GM's cars and trucks. Altogether, that's more than 6,000 jobs. Supplier jobs in Lansing outnumber GM jobs.

Labor Movements In The U.S.

Oct 3, 2019
A striking member of the UAW Local 1005 in front of the GM factory in Parma on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

Labor union membership in the U.S. hit a record low in 2018, when just over one in 10 American workers were card-carrying members.

The drop off is the result of economic, legislative and judicial trends, including the U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that banned mandatory union dues for non-member, public-sector employees.

As tens of thousands of General Motors workers wrap up a third week of their nationwide strike, an historian, a labor leader and a prominent film documentarian of the labor movement consider the past and the future of American labor.

  

Tony Vacca stands in solidarity with GM workers currently on strike outside of the Parma plant on Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
Carter Adams / WKSU

Nearly every driver who passes the 24-hour picket line on Chevrolet Boulevard blares their horn, a sign of solidarity between the community and the striking workers. 

GM Lordstown may be idled, but UAW members are picketing in solidarity with other autoworkers on strike around the country.
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Negotiations between General Motors and striking auto workers revolve in part around a plant that has shut down. Six months ago, the last Chevy Cruze rolled off the assembly line in Lordstown, Ohio.

Production at General Motors facilities nationwide halted just before midnight Sept. 15, including at the GM Metal Center in Parma.

GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Ten years later, that UAW-GM contract has expired.

The United Auto Workers Union (UAW) and GM failed to come to a new contract agreement over the weekend.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET Monday

Talks between General Motors and union officials representing tens of thousands of striking autoworkers restarted Monday in hopes of driving both sides to an agreement on issues including workers' wages, health care and profit-sharing.

After several hours, union officials representing nearly 50,000 workers acknowledge negotiations remain in neutral.

General Motors workers made big concessions to help pull the automaker out of its 2009 bankruptcy. Now, the company is making record profits.

But, the Warren Transmission plant in Michigan shut its doors at the tail end of June, and most of the workers have been placed at other plants. It's a ghost factory.

People gather at the Supreme Court awaiting a decision in an Illinois union dues case, Janus vs. AFSCME, in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Five state employees have filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming their rights have been violated by being required to pay union dues.

Members of United Auto Workers Local 1112 are more skeptical than optimistic after the announcement Wednesday that General Motors is in talks to sell its Lordstown plant to Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group, an upstart maker of electric trucks.

Many are shocked the company would rather sell the plant than assign a new GM vehicle to be built in Lordstown.

One of Ohio’s key supporters of the controversial anti-union measure “right to work” says he’s not going to push for it anymore. 

People gather at the Supreme Court awaiting a decision in an Illinois union dues case, Janus vs. AFSCME, in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

A city of Columbus employee is challenging a provision in her union contract that limits when she can opt out of paying dues.

Protesters at Sen. Rob Portman's office in downtown Columbus rally against the government shutdown.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

A group of activists gathered Friday afternoon outside Sen. Rob Portman’s office to encourage him to do more to end the partial government shutdown.

Rep. John Becker (R-Cincinnati) testifies before the House Finance Committee on his bill before a room packed with union members who oppose it.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Members of the Ohio House came back to work for their first day since the election to face a room packed with opponents of a bill on public employee unions. The bill may not go far, but union members were determined to show their opposition.

Debbie Holmes

Central Ohio's Kroger employees have agreed to a new labor deal.

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