Chris Brooks

UAW strikers picketing on a street corner.

“They always say it will take multiple agreements to reach equality—we can’t win it all in one go,” said Sean Crawford, a second-tier worker at Flint Truck Assembly in Michigan.

For Crawford, the GM strike, the longest at a Big 3 company in 50 years, was the best chance the union had to put an end to the many tiers that have fractured the workforce.

UAW workers marching with picket signs.

On the 31st day of the longest auto strike in 50 years, General Motors and the United Auto Workers announced a tentative agreement.

The UAW's GM Council, made up of representatives from each GM local, will meet tomorrow. If they approve the pact, as expected, it will be submitted to strikers for a ratification vote.

The Council will also decide whether workers will stay out on strike during the vote or return to work immediately, as has been the union's practice in past strikes.

Labor Notes Goes to Asia

Workshop participants at the Labor Notes Asia Regional Conference discussing and writing about strikes.

At times it can seem like international solidarity is just a rallying cry, devoid of the oomph that would make it a force to build power among workers across borders. But this past August, we had the chance to witness international solidarity in action.

Chanting in English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Tagalog, a multinational crowd of union activists rallied in the swampy heat of Taiwan’s capital in front of the headquarters of Foxconn, the notorious manufacturer of iPhones.

The UAW strike against General Motors is heating up on the picket lines as the stand-off enters its second week.

The UAW strike against General Motors is heating up on the picket lines as the stand-off enters its second week. The first week saw union members arrested, presidential candidates march on the lines, and rumors floated that the strike could extend beyond a tentative agreement through the ratification vote.

(Ready to lend a hand? Click here for a list of picket line locations.)

GM strikers march with "UAW on strike" signs. Black and white women in foreground.

Forty-nine thousand auto workers are on strike at General Motors in the largest private sector strike since the last time union and company clashed, in 2007.

(Ready to lend a hand? Click here for a list of picket line locations.)

Volkswagen Declares Mission Accomplished

Devil horns, pitchfork, and tail have been added to the VW logo on a car

In the carrot and stick approach to union-busting, Frank Fischer was the carrot.

Fischer, a former plant executive whom many workers remembered fondly, parachuted in as interim CEO of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen plant at the end of May to help sway the plant’s 1,700 hourly workers to vote against unionization.

He replaced unpopular CEO Antonio Pinto. The point was to show workers that the company was listening to their concerns and making changes.

Woman holding "UNION YES" sign and child holding U.S. flag, with VW plant behind

It was a bad sign. On the day voting began at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the shift change suddenly turned blue.

Throngs of workers were passing through the factory turnstiles in both directions, as the day shift ended and the night shift began. On the preceding days, handfuls of union supporters in bright green shirts were there to hand out flyers and banter with their co-workers.

Volkswagen Declares War against Works Council and German Union

Group of workers in matching green T-shirts outside the plant

A top employee representative in Volkswagen’s Global Works Council was denied entry into the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory today as the union election began.

The plant’s 1,700 eligible hourly employees began voting this morning on whether to form a union with the United Auto Workers. The results will be announced Friday night.

According to a statement from the Global Works Council, Johan Järvklo arrived at the plant to be an election observer. Workers confirmed that he was booted.