The 12 months 2023 has been a difficult one to date for Ray Crawford, a 24-year-old veteran at Stellantis Mopar Heart Line Elements Heart and hanging United Auto Employees (UAW) member.
Crawford, a stage three prostate most cancers survivor, hopes that the strike ends quickly, however not earlier than he and his UAW colleagues win every of their negotiation calls for.
“It’s been tough,” he instructed the Advance about his well being on Wednesday.
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Nonetheless, Crawford is resolute on the subject of the strike.
“We’ll be out right here at some point longer than the corporate,” he stated.
About 25,000 UAW members are hanging at 43 places throughout 21 states for the Detroit Three auto producers. Fifteen of them are positioned in Michigan.The labor union is preventing for elevated wages, a 32-hour work week and higher pension advantages, amongst different points reminiscent of an finish to tiered
compensation between employees with totally different lengths of service.
Crawford has endured the challenges of most cancers, which included surgical procedure in February. For many of the 12 months, he’s been away from work and dwelling on incapacity pay.
“I used to be off work till the start of August, needed to undergo chemo and radiation,” Crawford stated. “Acquired again to work, and had solely been again for a few month, and now we’re on strike. Now I’m [living] on strike funds.”
His strike pay is about $500 per week, however that cash can go shortly.
“My canine eats a $40 bag of meals in every week,” Crawford chuckled.
Crawford walks the picket line two or three days every week and now appears to make ends meet on strike pay. He was on the picket line on Thursday morning till it was time to go to his physician’s appointment.
The UAW represents about 150,000 members throughout the nation. For the primary time within the union’s historical past, all three Detroit automakers — Stellantis, Ford and Basic Motors — are the strike targets.The “Stand Up Strike” effort, which has been carried out in levels, started Sept. 15.
UAW President Shawn Fain is ready to announce at 2 p.m. Friday if extra employees can be referred to as as much as strike.
In the meantime, the UAW on Wednesday launched “Damaged Guarantees,” a brand new video that addresses the union’s ongoing strike towards the automakers.
The video, narrated by UAW President Shawn Fain, “describes the deal made throughout the Nice Recession when the auto trade was getting ready to collapse.”
“The deal was, UAW members take some short-term cuts for the long-term survival of Ford, Basic Motors and Chrysler,” Fain says within the video.
These short-term cuts have lasted 15 years. Autoworkers employed after 2007 have been denied the pensions and retiree well being care protection received by generations of UAW members earlier than them. The beginning wages of post-2007 employees have been slashed, and it now takes eight years for a full-time UAW member to succeed in high pay.
A tier compensation system pays veteran staff significantly greater than employees with much less seniority. That has brought about morale and pressure points between employees, Crawford stated. The UAW desires to remove the tiered system.
“We consider we’ve a compelling supply that may reward our group members and permit GM to succeed and thrive into the longer term. We proceed to face prepared and prepared to barter in good religion 24/7 to succeed in an settlement,” Basic Motors stated Thursday in an announcement.
Regardless of the challenges, Crawford stated that the strike has helped UAW employees of various tier compensation ranges to bond.
“Being on the strike line has really introduced comradery [among striking members] and introduced us collectively,” Crawford stated. “It’s made us notice that we’re all we obtained.”
Moreover, Crawford absolutely backs his union and stated that Fain’s management has helped to revive his confidence within the 88-year-old labor group after a number of years of excessive profile federal corruption probe that concerned Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, each former UAW presidents. Each served jail time.
“We’re fortified. We’re 1,000% behind union management,” stated Crawford.
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