GM Strike: Workers Share Why They Fight : The Picture Show As negotiations continue between the automaker and the union, workers express what motivates them to join the picket line. "One fight, we all fight," one worker says.
NPR logo Why GM Workers Are Striking

Why GM Workers Are Striking

Nearly 50,000 General Motors employees with the United Auto Workers union went on strike Sunday. The decision to strike came Sunday morning, after the collective bargaining agreement from 2015 expired. The union is calling for the Detroit automaker to properly recognize everything their members have done and sacrificed to make a "healthy, profitable" auto industry.

Last year, GM announced that the Detroit-Hamtramck plant would close in January 2020. This came after the plant was expected to close sometime in 2019. The fate of this plant was originally announced along with the closures of three assembly plants and two other facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

UAW is striking to preserve fair wages, affordable health care, profit sharing and job security, among other things. UAW organizers are assigning six-hour shifts that cover each entrance into the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, and the shifts are running 24 hours a day. This series of portraits will explain why some members took to the picket lines on Day 2 and 3 of the labor dispute.

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Elaine Cromie is an independent visual journalist and documentary photographer based in Detroit.

Clarification Sept. 20, 2019

A previous version of this story stated that the strike began on Sunday morning. UAW met Sunday morning and decided the strike would start at midnight that day.