The last time we checked in on this industry, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union wasn’t having a great time. Leadership had nowhere to hide from its long-running streak of corruption, and current (and possibly outgoing) UAW president, Ray Curry, presided over a mess of a constitutional convention, where strike pay got boosted and reverted, and he decided (for whatever reason) to skip out on his planned speech.
Let’s check in on the UAW and other unions who seem nervous about the future:
- Robots launched some conflict between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The PMA made it clear that they’re good with the remote controlled cranes that assist with some of the heavier lifting at California ports. The ILWU, on the other hand, sees the issue as a sticking point for its 22,000 longshoremen in the state. The union’s attempting to put the brakes on what they see as automation and a threat to the jobs that currently pay their members an average of $195,000 per year.
- The UAW’s getting ducks in a row to hold onto their dwindling membership numbers. First, the union issued a statement following the CHIPS for America Act (meant to prevent further auto-grade semiconductor shortages and resulting damage to the supply chain) in the U.S. Senate. Curry is also demanding pay scale guarantees for the 150,000 workers who work for GM and Stellantis. In doing so, Curry wants equal pay scales for those who work at new electronic vehicle battery plants or assemble gas- or diesel-powered vehicles and parts.
- The United Steelworkers union filed three NLRB complaints to allege that Braeburn Alloy Steel (which is under a new owner) refuses to recognize the union after its contract expired in early July.