'We're asking the company to stay put': Local UAW joins national strike against automakers
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A national union strike is now impacting Milwaukee.
"I'm speaking directly for Milwaukee and MOPAR, that we stay here. We don't move. We're asking the company to stay put, let us make our future, let them help us make our future the right way though," UAW Local 75 President Joe Neu said while speaking to union members.
About 100 United Auto Workers (UAW) 75 members walked off the job at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Milwaukee Parts Distribution Center in Bay View, saying they would do so respectfully and safely.
"We're doing a demonstration here; we're not going to get into any arguments with people. We're out here as a strong show of force with numbers," UAW Region 4 Service Representative Andrew Stark said.
The strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis started last week at just three locations. On Friday, 38 locations in 20 states joined the effort.
Milwaukee Area Labor Council shared the following statement in support of the UAW strike:
"The Milwaukee Area Labor Council stands in solidarity with the strike action at the Stellantis Distribution Center and we lend our full support to UAW Local 75 union members. Autoworkers and workers in the supply chain have lost ground economically since the restructuring of the recession, while profits and CEO compensation skyrocketed. The workers create the value, they create the products. This is an honorable fight for fair compensation."
UAW Local 75 members were told not to speak to the media until next week, but other labor workers who joined in solidarity shared their thoughts with CBS 58.
"There are 180,000 workers in UAW, but there are millions of workers across America, and if all of us come together against corporations putting profit over people and put people over profits, America is going to be a lot better place for the working class," ATU Local 998 Executive Board Member Kyle Handel said.
"They need people from the labor movement across America to come together and stand with them."
"All they're asking for is more wages, a pension plan. All the things workers in the United States in 2023 should be guaranteed by now," Democratic State Rep. and Milwaukee County Supervisor Ryan Clancy.
Job security is also a part of this strike, especially for the Bay View facility, as it was one that Stellantis' Chief Operating Officers said on national TV could close under a proposal brought forth to the union, which UAW rejected.
"The reality is the fact that folks have to go on strike, instead of big businesses coming to the table to have real conversations about what workers need is sad and disheartening," State Rep. Darrin Madison (D) Milwaukee said.