Q. What is a strike?

A. A strike happens when workers collectively decide to withhold their labor after authorization from the International. In the UAW, strikes are governed by the UAW Constitution, including Articles 12,16, and 50.

Q. Who is eligible for strike benefits?

A. To be eligible for strike pay and benefits, members must be:

  1.  In good standing  (current on dues and initiation fees, if any) on the day before the strike starts
  2. On active pay roll at start of strike: members laid off, on workers compensation or receiving sick and accident benefits are not eligible
  3. Member must participate in the strike: picket assignments, strike committee, etc.

Eligible members include temporary employees as well as anyone who is current in their union security obligations such as fee payers or objectors.

Q. How much is UAW strike assistance and how often is it paid?

A. Weekly strike pay is $200 per week ($40 per day, Mon-Fri, beginning on the 8th day). Eligibility for weekly benefits on the 8th day of a strike. Strike assistance pay is available after the 15th day of the strike. A bonus check is paid the week prior to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Q. How do I apply for strike benefits? 

A. You must register and make application for strike benefits on the day and time assigned to you by your local union.

Q. Do I owe union dues on strike benefits?

A. No.

Q. Can the strike pay be mailed to me?

A. No, members must pick up their own benefit on the assigned date from their local union with ID.

Q. Are strike benefits taxable?

A. Yes. After $600 in a given year, the UAW will issue an IRS Form 1099-MISC.

Q. Are probationary employees and new hires entitled to strike assistance?

A. Probationary and new hires may become eligible for strike benefits if they join the Union and pay the initiation fee and dues prior to the strike taking place. In the event a worker has completed application for membership and paid dues, he/she would be considered a member in good standing and would be entitled to strike assistance.

Q. Are temporary employees entitled to strike assistance?

A. All dues paying members, including temporary members, are eligible for strike assistance.

Q. What medical benefits are covered?

A. The UAW Strike and Defense Fund covers certain benefits such as medical and prescription drugs. Benefits not covered include: dental, vision, hearing, sick and accident.

These benefits are either paid directly by the Fund according to the company’s current plan or by having the Strike and Defense Fund make COBRA payments to the company plan.

Q. Can I Collect Unemployment Insurance While on Strike? 

A. The law varies by state, but in many states participation in a strike will disqualify a worker from eligibility for unemployment insurance.

Q. What happens if I cross a picket line?

A. All strike benefits cease immediately and appropriate action may be taken under the UAW Constitution.


The Real Deal on Appendix “A” Transfer Rights

The purpose of this communication is to address some of the discussions around the Appendix “A” transfer process contained within the current 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement.  There have been numerous postings on social media which are simply not accurate. Therefore, we will summarize how the process works as well as some specific events which have occurred.

Appendix A:

The process begins when a facility identifies a need for people. The joint parties submit a REQUISITION for manpower to Senior GM manufacturing leadership.

Once the Requisition is approved, it is sent to the National Employee Placement Center (NEPC) for processing.

Once received, the NEPC runs a Roster which is comprised of all eligible members who have made application for that facility.

Finally, the NEPC simply simply follows the flowchart found in the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement on page #201 and extends job offers to the most senior eligible applicants.

Examples of Specific Placement activity currently misunderstood on Social Media:

Spring Hill:

The events surrounding the near closure of the Spring Hill Manufacturing Site had tremendous impact on our members. It is very important to understand the events which occurred to this location as well as what has been done thus far to return our members closer to home.

During the 2009 timeframe, General Motors made a corporate decision consistent with their authority under Paragraph 8 of the National Agreement and decided to move the production of the Chevrolet Traverse from Spring Hill to Lansing Delta.

The International UAW negotiated a Paragraph 96 move which allowed 485 members (435 Production, 50 Skilled Trades) to follow the product to LDT and retain employment.  There were also an additional 301 members (298 Production, 3 Skilled Trades) who chose to accept transfer to several other locations around the country.

Additionally, there were a number of members who chose not to transfer and consistent with the National Agreement retained recall rights to Spring Hill.

During 2011 Bargaining, the UAW successfully negotiated product allocations for Spring Hill and quite frankly, saved the entire facility from closure. We convinced the company to deviate from the Flex/Core staffing agreement and recalled 343 people back to Spring Hill. Keep in mind, it was the Flex/Core agreement which made it possible for Spring Hill to win the Chevrolet Equinox work from Canada and the all new Cadillac SRX work from Mexico.

Next, we worked with GM to move an additional 293 former Spring Hill Members to the Corvette assembly facility in Bowling Green, KY. We fully understand, Bowling Green is not their home, however, all people must clearly understand, you cannot move people into locations where there are no openings.  To date, the International UAW has successfully convinced GM to move 636 of our hardworking members home, or at least as close as possible.

Finally, please understand, we know we still have members who are working in locations which are not their homes. We are still negotiating with the company on this topic and sincerely hope to reach an agreement  which meets the needs of our displaced membership.

Lake Orion:

Recently, there have been several Appendix “A” transfer situations which has included Lake Orion, Flint, Saginaw, and Lansing Delta. In each of these events, the flowchart on page #201 of the National Agreement was followed.

Saginaw Metal Casting Operations submitted a requisition for 50 people. All 50 of those openings were filled by seniority members from Lake Orion. Here are the events which occurred.

Lake Orion began a line-speed decrease which resulted in a reduction of workforce. This caused Lake Orion to be placed in the category of a plant with excess employees. Following the flowchart, the job offers were made to eligible members at that facility who applied for Saginaw, in seniority order, Highest Seniority first.

The next event was a requisition of 50 people submitted by Flint Assembly. Once again, the flowchart on page #201 was followed. These openings were filled by 41 members from Lake Orion and 9 members from Lansing Delta Township.

As in the previous event , Lake Orion was a plant with excess members, the NEPC followed the agreement and made job offers to the Highest Eligible Seniority members with application for Flint Assembly.

We recommend when questions arise on these or any other contractual matters, contact your local union leadership. We are confident they will take the time to investigate and explain the situation. Furthermore, as always, the International UAW Staff in each Region and the National Departments are willing to help with any situation that arises.Wheel


To my sisters and brothers at General Motors,

As we continue to negotiate with General Motors on your behalf, I want to thank you for your patience and solid support. As you know, there is a lot at stake with these negotiations and the ratification process; job security, product allocation and income security. As you wait, please remember that during the last round of auto contract talks, UAW members at Ford and FCA waited for us to conclude our ratification before they began theirs. Right now, we are focusing on the issues that are unique to each operation.

I want to especially thank you for remaining level headed and not allowing outsiders like RTW to hijack this negotiation process and divide us. Facebook and social media are amazing for groups like ours to communicate, we’re grateful to have them, and we encourage the robust debate and discussion they provide. I, by no means, intend to discourage healthy discussion that, in the end, will only make our union stronger. In fact, I am hopeful that we can turn this discussion into even more activism as we face upcoming elections and those forces which seek to harm our rights as union members and the rights of all working families.  Yesterday one of those forces, the National RTW Legal Defense Foundation, aired an anti-union radio ad in Michigan. I have complete faith that our membership is mindful of those on the internet who are looking to use public member discussions to divide us. It is important that we stand together in solidarity against these anti-union forces posing as friends of working men and women.

As UAW-FCA brothers and sisters proceed with their ratification process, it’s critical that your support continue. They are expected to conclude their voting on Oct. 21, 2015.  If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to our Facebook page, UAW GM Talks.

In Solidarity,

Cindy Estrada
UAW Vice President and Director
General Motors Department


Member Rejection of FCA Collective Bargaining Agreement is UAW Democracy in Action

By Bruce A. Miller

October 1, 2015

The leadership of the UAW, led by Dennis Williams, it’s President, concluded an historic collective bargaining agreement with FCA (Chrysler). The union, struggling to catch up from the effect of concessions that assured the continuation of the corporation, won signifcant wage increases across the board, narrowed the gap between tiered pay scales and introduced an innovating health insurance plant to improve services and cut down employee and corporate costs. It was a good settlement. But was it good enough?

In the UAW the workers have the last word on the important decisions that affect their lives in the workplace. The leadership leads but it does not dictate. And they would not have it any other way.  Membership control over the union has been the UAW way ever since its beginnings. So, the workers of FCA, blue collar and white collar, skilled and assembly, all have the last word. And that is what is going on right now.

There is a debate going on in the membership over whether or not the contract settlement gets them whre they want to go. That debate will be settled the democratic way, the American way, the UAW way. It will be settled by a vote. Preliminary reports indicate that the members may turn it down. When they turn it down the leadership is mandated to return to the bargaining table and either do better or shut the company down in a strike that will conclude with a better bargain. Outsiders who view the division in the ranks of the union may wrongly conclude that the union is weakened by division and cannot defend itself.  They just don’t understand how the UAW works.

In the approximately 54 years I have practiced labor law and been an observer and participant in the life of the UAW I have seen major changes in the auto industry. You can’t go through the threat of extinction, bankruptcies and major changes in how cars are made without those changes complicating collective bargaining. And, during this same time the union has gone through the crisis of division that always ended up in the victory of unison. The members of the UAW understand, and it is part of their history, that they can disagree passionately among themselves but when the vital interests of the union are at stake they come together.

It is in times like these that the outsider vultures start flying around seeking to take advantage of the crisis to push their own agendas.  These outsider vultures wear many different costumes and come in different sizes and shapes. There are the right wing vultures wear many different costumes and come in different sizes and shapes. There are the right wing vultures like the National Right to Work Foundation, the Mackinac Center and the politicians in Tennessee that interfered in a union election in Tennessee.  And then there are the vultures on the left dressed in red garb who preach their love for the workers while they advocate on behalf of the enemies of working people.

A case in point is World Socialist Web Site published by a tiny organization with virtually no membership, which accuses the UAW of selling out it’s members with the contract settlement. How the union leadership sells out its members by providing for the members to vote on the settlement and reject or accept it is not explained.

Who are these “friends” of the autoworkers? To give it a flavor, they devote their publication to the murder of Leon Trotsky, a side kick of V.I. Lenin. This is what they say:” The assassination of the greatest leader of the 1917 October Revolution marked the climax of the Stalinist Regime’s eradication of the socialist workers and intellectuals who had secured the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution.” Just what the workers at FCA need – a new Bolshevik revolution and a leader like the Russian Leon Trotsky! These folks want to see turmoil in the UAW because it is out of turmoil they hope a new revolution will come. And when that revolution comes these folks will lead everyone to the socialist paradise that was the Soviet Union when Lenin and Trotsky were around. FCA workers need this like a hole in the head!

The interesting thing about the right wing vultures is that they both are against the union and use the same language in describing its democratically elected leaders as “bosses.”

Walter Reuther had it right. It was said, he used to say when I am attacked on the left by the Communists and on the Right by the bosses, I know I am doing the right thing going down the middle with the members. And that is what this UAW leadership is going to do.

In the UAW it is the members who decide the conditions under which they work. Certainly not the outside vultures on the right or the left.

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