UAW Strike Commences

By G.G. Zangar

At midnight on September 15, 2023, the President of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW), Shawn Fain called on previously selected facilities to commence a historic strike at three different facilities effective immediately.

The UAW is striking against what are being called “The Big Three” which are the automakers; Ford, GM, and Stellantis.

The strike takes the form of a new tactic for strikers that is being termed the “Stand Up Strike” which is demonstrated by select union locals to be called upon to “stand up and join the strike”.[1] The specific locals and time points are kept secret until the announcements to keep the automakers from organizing reprisals or tactics aimed at inhibiting the strike.

The first wave of strikes is taking place at three facilities: GM of Wentzville in Missouri, Stellantis in Toledo Ohio, and Ford in Wayne Michigan.

This strike is an especially historic one for the fact that there are 150,000 workers ready to walk off the job to the picket line in solidarity with the rest of the UAW union. Currently, just under 13,000 have ceased laboring to spearhead the strike movement.[2]

According to UAW president Shawn Fain, the deadline for this strike was made in anticipation of the retaliatory corporate tactic of stalling negotiations as much as possible to hurt participating workers financially. CNN even reports that “automakers scoffed” at the union’s demands and then proceeded, in true bourgeois fashion, to label the Union’s demands as “ambitious.”[3]

The demands by the UAW consist of an immediate 20% wage increase followed by four additional raises of 5% for a total of a 46% increase over 4 years. A notable demand by the UAW is an end to “tiers.” These tiers are pay brackets that workers are distributed into through credentials. However, the crucial characteristic of tiers is that they divide workers into different strata that can be manipulated against each other. Other demands by the UAW take the form of retirement benefits, layoff protections, and pay increases to match inflation. As well as tiers, the UAW has called for the outright abolition of temporary workers and their immediate conversion to full-time employment.[4]

The practice of temporary workers (temp work) has long been a blight on warehouse and manufacturing workers in the United States. Companies that require arduous, often dangerous, labor, will hire people through what are called temp agencies. These entities allow for the hire of workers solely by the hour. That is to say, workers are hired by proxy through a temp agency to skirt having to pay any benefits and avoid any responsibility for the health of the temp worker. As well as being cheaper for the companies, it threatens established workers as the companies would like to replace higher-paid employees with temp workers as much as possible.  It is admirable that the UAW has taken a stand against this malevolent practice by the bourgeoisie.

This strike by the UAW marks a historic moment where, after a long period of successful subjugation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie, the discontent amongst workers has grown to a fever pitch and has culminated in an escalating strike of potentially monumental detriment to the bourgeoisie. This strike is not only important for the concessions that the autoworkers will receive. This strike is important for the demonstrated effectiveness of proletarian organization.

Though the current UAW strike is a positive milestone towards a better society made by and for the interests of the working class, it is not nearly an end. The workers of the US must learn from this that we have the power in our numbers and that the parasitic bourgeoisie stands as the main obstacle in the way of the day when we reap our fair share of what we produce together.

Solidarity with the workers in the UAW!


[1] “Stand Up Strike FAQs,” UAW (blog), September 13, 2023,

[2] Chris Isidore Yurkevich Vanessa, “UAW Workers Launch Unprecedented Strike against All Big Three Automakers | CNN Business,” CNN, September 15, 2023,

[3] Yurkevich.

[4] “UAW Talks 2023,” Automotive News, August 17, 2023,


Automotive News. “UAW Talks 2023,” August 17, 2023.

UAW. “Stand Up Strike FAQs,” September 13, 2023.

Yurkevich, Chris Isidore, Vanessa. “UAW Workers Launch Unprecedented Strike against All Big Three Automakers | CNN Business.” CNN, September 15, 2023.

1 thought on “UAW Strike Commences”

  1. Good article but I want to add a bit on temp workers. Not only are they deprived of health benefits but retirement benefits, vacation and holiday pay. Many unions also have bereavement pay as well if a close family member dies. When work is slow those temp workers have no work and aren’t covered by unemployment insurance.
    The flexibility of capitalists to move workers around, to lay them off when work is slow and force long hours when there is higher demand is a hallmark of capitalism. Unions have put a small dent in this free trade of labor power. The UAW demands go further in reducing that flexibility. Only a workers’ state will end labor power being treated as a commodity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *