Workers from many industries come together for UAW Big Three Solidarity Rally
Ontario, CA – On Tuesday morning, more than 100 individuals from various unions including the United Auto Workers (UAW), the Teamsters, the Writers Guild, SAG-AFTRA, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), gathered at the Stellantis parts distribution center in Ontario, California for the Big Three Solidarity Rally. The rally brought together workers from different industries who are using the strike and strike threat as a tool to win strong national contracts.
The workers at the Stellantis parts center recently joined the national “stand up strike” movement initiated by the UAW. This nationwide strike, aimed at the Big Three automakers, began on September 15, after the expiration of the workers' contract on September 14.
At the heart of this collective action are the demands of UAW workers to raise wages for all employees, eliminate a divisive wage tier system, reinstate cost of living adjustments, and safeguard their retirement pensions. It's a battle that resonates with the 146,000 Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis workers spread across the United States, who are all covered under the same national contract.
The “stand up strike” strategy, employed by the UAW, involves an incremental approach where strikes start at a few select facilities and then expand over time. This measured escalation serves as a powerful tool to pressure employers and protect the interests of workers.
During the solidarity rally, members and representatives from local unions, currently engaged in their own major labor battles with employers, voiced their support for the UAW fight. Among them were members from the Writers Guild, who concluded a 148-day strike on September 24 and announced plans for a vote on the tentative agreement reached for their contract. Their employer, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, recently gave in to their demands, including worker protections against artificial intelligence, after the workers made it clear that they would not settle for less.
The Teamsters, who won a strong contract in August after orchestrating a credible strike threat against UPS over the past year, emphatically chanted, “Teamsters don't cross picket lines!” The UPS contract included the defeat of a two-tier wage system, similar to what the UAW is fighting for. Lindsay Dougherty is the principal officer of Teamsters Local 399. Dougherty said, “We are seeing the highest disparity between the CEOs and all of you and that is going to end, right now. And the only way we’re going to do it is if we fight back and take it to the streets, which is exactly what you’re doing and that is what all of us should be doing.”
SAG-AFTRA members have been on strike against the AMPTP since July 14 and around 75,000 SEIU members are on strike right now at Kaiser Permanente, in the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history.
As the UAW strike gains momentum, solidarity from other workers will be crucial and their fight and best serves as a reminder that the fight for fair wages, equitable treatment, and secure futures is a collective one, echoing far beyond the Stellantis distribution center in Ontario.