BRADDOCK, Pa. (WTAJ) – U.S. Senators John Fetterman (D-PA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) announced their solidarity with the United Auto Workers (UAW) amid the union’s historic strike.
The UAW declared a strike against Detroit Three automakers, often referred to as the Big 3, on Thursday following failed contract talks to secure a new labor agreement. Workers officially ceased production and went on strike at midnight on Friday following the expiration of their current collective-bargaining agreement at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
“It’s time to decide what side you’re on. Are you on the side of the Big 3 CEOs who made a combined $74 million last year, and now are claiming they cannot afford to pay their workers? Or are you on the side of the UAW workers who bust their ass every day, the people who build the American cars and trucks we Pennsylvanians drive,” Fetterman said in a press release on Friday. “I know which side I’m on. As long as these brave workers continue to walk the picket line, my entire team and I will have their backs.”
Sen. Fetterman’s press release went on to vouch his team’s support until the workers reach a fair deal, stating that he will always come down on the side of workers and the union way of life. “It’s what built this nation, it’s what built Pennsylvania, and it’s what built the middle class.”
His statement ended with two simple words: “Solidarity forever.”
Sen. Casey also issued a statement of solidarity for the workers, reminding his constituents that the UAW voluntarily reduced their benefits to help these same whom they’re striking against survive when the auto industry was struggling.
“Striking is always a last resort for workers, who risk losing their health care and may never make up the wages lost. I stand in solidarity with the united Auto Workers as they fight for their fair share. I urge the Big 3 to come to the table with offers that reflect what these workers deserve.”
In a statement issued by Ford on Thursday night, the company says that UAW’s counterproposal, if accepted, would more than double Ford’s current UAW-related labor costs.
General Motors and Stellantis have not issued official statements on their company websites.
Last year Ford had a fourth-quarter net income of $1.3 billion and an adjusted earning of $2.6 billion. General Motors had a year-end net income attributable to stockholders of $9.9 billion and a record-setting adjusted earning of $14.5 billion. Stellantis’s six-month financial report released in June shows the company having already earned a net profit of over $10 million in the first half of 2023.