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UAW Strike, Behind the Headlines




Leon and Slaughter have been covering reforms at the UAW well before the strike was called. Leon’s most recent piece is “Scabs Deployed at GM Parts Distribution Centers.” Slaughter just wrote the piece “Viewpoint: With No Reform Caucus, Auto Workers Would Not Be on Strike.”

Lichtenstein is research professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. He has written several books on labor including State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton University Press).

He recently wrote “What’s at Stake in the General Motors Strike,” which states: “Today a demand that the investment program of big corporations like GM must become subject to democratic pressure might not only save factories like Lordstown, but it would be the most effective way to expose President Trump’s faux sympathy for the Midwestern working class. It would unite the populist denunciation of the billionaire class to the concrete work-a-day fears and hopes of millions in factories and offices. In the process such a movement would demonstrate a far more effective and progressive way to revive and reshape the industries and workplaces that once sustained a more egalitarian America.”

Earlier this month, he wrote in “The United Auto Workers Strike Is Already Shaking Up the Presidential Race,” that “the present strike is becoming political because it coincides with a momentous transformation of the industry itself: a transition to electrical vehicles (EVs) whose production is being subsidized and incentivized by the Biden administration through a multibillion-dollar industrial policy — a policy whose impact on the America that actually makes things made of metal, glass, silicon chips, and plastic has been surpassed only by the mobilization of ‘manpower’ and money that took place at the start of World War II.”

Lichtenstein’s newest book, which he wrote with the late Judith Stein, is A Fabulous Failure: The Clinton Presidency and the Transformation of American Capitalism.