The UAW strike against the Big Three automakers comes to Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood
A Milwaukee parts distribution center is one of the sites where members of the United Auto Workers, UAW, union has expanded its strike against the Big Three automakers. The UAW is adding walkouts at 38 parts distribution facilities at General Motors and Stellantis in twenty states.
The Milwaukee strike is at the Stellantis-owned MOPAR parts center in the Bay View neighborhood. About 50 members of UAW Local 75 formed a sidewalk picket line Friday afternoon outside MOPAR.
Tony Vela says he's worked there for 25 years. He says one reason he supports expanding the UAW strike is the Stellantis' two-tier wage system.
"You have somebody making $30 (an hour) on one side, and somebody on this side of the line making $15. And it's not fair. Make it equal. Equal pay," Vela tells WUWM.
Also on the picket line was Randy Stegner II, who has been at MOPAR for 19 years. He says for much of that time, getting paid fair wages has been a problem.
"We've had to give up cost of living (adjustments.) We went almost ten years without a pay increase. So yeah, it's been a lot of stuff that we've given up," Stegner tells WUWM.
The UAW says 5,600 distribution workers are joining 13,000 auto plant workers who went on strike last week when the union's contracts with automakers expired. GM calls the escalation "unnecessary," while Stellantis says it questions union leaders' interest in reaching a timely contract agreement.
The UAW says it is not taking additional action against Ford because the union says it believes that automaker is serious about reaching a deal.