The president of a local branch of a top shipping union said Thursday that its 5,000 drivers would not deliver vehicles to major automakers in the event of an autoworker strike, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Kevin Moore, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 299 in Detroit, expressed his support for the United Auto Workers (UAW) in their negotiations with major automakers, stating that his branch of the union will not cross the picket line, according to the Detroit Free Press. The UAW announced on Wednesday its plans to strike if a contract is not reached by the Thursday deadline, laying out a staged strike against the Big Three — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — where not all workers will strike at once, instead more workers will be added to the strike over time to apply increasing pressure on automakers.
“We are 100% supportive of UAW workers and Shawn Fain’s positions,” Moore told the Detroit Free Press. “Our Teamsters will not cross strike lines.”
The union, which traditionally covers delivery drivers, hauls vehicles for the Detroit automakers, with a refusal to do so limiting the Big Three’s ability to ship already-made inventory, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The Teamsters narrowly avoided having their own strike following negotiations with the United Parcel Service over the contracts of 350,000 delivery drivers. The union workers’ contracts were set to expire on July 31, with the union reaching a tentative contract on July 25.
“I understand their struggles and their issues,” Moore, whose wife worked for Ford for 40 years, told the Detroit Free Press. “I understand the membership of the UAW and their really strong feelings about fighting for second-tier workers who make $11 an hour less than the full-time workers. This has been going on for years. You have a person working side-by-side with someone earning $11 an hour less than Tier 1 employees. I understand trying to bring parity to that workgroup.”
The UAW is demanding a 46% wage hike over five years, a return to traditional pension plans and retiree health care, cost-of-living adjustments and job assurance in the push by major automakers to expand their electric vehicle operations at the expense of their traditional operations. The union is also asking for a four-day work week of only 32 hours while still getting paid the same as workers would for a five-day work week, according to CBS News.
“All UAW members deserve respect at work and dignity in retirement,” Sean O’Brien, Teamsters general president, said in a statement. “They deserve strong wages in a new contract that rewards them for everything they do for the Big Three and to keep this country moving. You can be sure there is no division in America’s labor movement today. And you are urged to remember that Teamsters don’t cross picket lines.”
Other major unions have expressed their support for the autoworkers, including the United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO, Service Employees International, American Federation of Teachers, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Communications Workers of America, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Teamsters, Ford and GM did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation. Stellantis declined to comment to the DCNF.
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