Experts Available: GM Strike

  • Labor
  • Economy
Communications Fellow

This week, nearly 50,000 General Motors (GM) employees across the country walked out after GM and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union failed to negotiate a new contract. If you're looking for experts for your coverage of the ongoing strike, these scholars are responsive and available for comment: 

Roosevelt Institute

"Strikes in American labor history often come in waves, and the 50,000 GM workers out on strike are emblematic of a 21st century strike wave. Teachers, hotel workers, grocery store workers, fast food workers, now auto workers - are all standing up to say one job should be enough in the richest country in the history of the world." 

Saint Joseph's University

"The striking UAW workers deserve our support. They're striking against a temporary/permanent employment division that means that some employees are not treated as well as others. These workers emphasize that they've given up quite a bit since the GM bailout, and GM has responded by making a profit of four billion dollars last year and closing plants. The conditions around the UAW strike, particularly the cases against leadership corruption, make the pathway for success more difficult for the union. However, if they are able to frame the conversation as one of extending pay to temporary employees and going against corporate largess, the general public will likely favor their efforts." 

 

"The UAW strike fits into to several broader developments in the American economy. For one thing, it's part of a rising wave of labor activism over the past year and a half.  As historical experience has shown us time and again, strikes tend to lead to further strikes as workers see the possibilities of mobilization and action. For another, the UAW strike shows how traditional unions are attempting to navigate the broader trend of employers trying to replace full-time employees with temporary workers and other categories of work that shed employer obligations for full wages, benefits, and labor standards."

Saint Martin's University

Expert on how public policies have influenced the size, composition and effectiveness of organized labor in American politics. 

University of California, San Diego

Expert on the political and economic behavior of labor unions. His work to date focuses on how legal and political institutions interact with unions’ organizational rules to affect union behavior and public policy. 

Washington University-St. Louis

“This particular strike highlights an important an often-overlooked issue: the rise of the manufacturing temp worker, often temp in name only.”

University of Missouri-St. Louis

"The strike is a test of strength. The UAW is trying to protect and restore the position of its members after the Great Recession eroded that position. The GM contract is a big test of industrial union’s effectiveness because GM has high profits but plans to close plants and cut workers."