The strike by United Auto Workers against the automaker General Motors is nearing a second week and the issues which are under discussion and dispute are same as the issues that have been prompting strikes in the past as well which is wages, health care and the commitment of the company to invest in the facilities in United States.
These origins of these conflicts can be traced back to 1936 December when the employees of GM which was led by the UAW had stopped producing at the plants in Michigan, Cleveland and Flint. At that time they were protesting against the low wages and harsh working conditions which made them sit down at the factories where they continued to sit for 44 days.
In the many years that have passed since there have been many contract negotiations and concessions on both the sides, including the one that is happening right now that has sent as many as 46,000 GM workers to picket lines, in an event that has not happened for 12 years. Some actions were taken in the past as well that have set the precedents.
In the year 1937, the strikes came to an end as the automaker became the first of the automakers from Detroit to give recognition to the UAW as manufacturing employee’s representative.
During the Great Recession of the year 2008, sales of cars had hit a 30–year low which was followed by plants being closed and bankruptcies which prompted bailouts from government and a creation of a two-tier system of wages in order to ensure more parity among senior management and those who are newly hired by the companies apart from giving benefits to retirees.