UAW Local 598 members sing during 50th anniversary of 1969 strike at Fisher Body Plant 2 in Flint while remembering he longest strike in GM history. Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press
DETROIT – UAW members will see their strike pay increase to $275 per week, effective Sunday.
The UAW International Executive Board voted in a motion Saturday for the increase, which is a raise from the current $250 per week rate. The strike against General Motors, involving more than 46,000 UAW members, is nearing the end of its fourth week.
The motion also allows members striking against GM and Aramark to take on part-time jobs without reducing strike pay as long as they maintain their picket duty. Previously, part-time work that exceeded strike pay would void strike pay, the UAW said.
UAW President Gary Jones framed the strike pay increase as one of shared sacrifice.
“UAW members and their families are sacrificing for all of us,” Jones said in a statement. “We are all standing together for our future. This action reflects the UAW commitment and solidarity to all of our members and their families who are taking a courageous stand together to protect our middle-class way of life.”
GM declined comment on the strike pay increase.
Negotiators for the union and GM continued discussions Saturday, the 27th day of the union’s nationwide strike against the automaker. The union presented a counterproposal Friday evening, after a day and a half of sharp exchanges between the two sides.
The pay increase is likely to be seen as positive news by those on the picket line, even if it’s not clear how long the strike will continue.
“It’ll be welcome relief for the strikers, and means a tentative agreement may still be a way off,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.
Follow Eric D. Lawrence on Twitter: @_ericdlawrence.
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