COLUMBUS - State Rep. Richard Dell'Aquila (D-Seven Hills) today announced his support of the current strike called by United Auto Workers (UAW) union members. UAW members agreed that they would strike if an agreement was not met by 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, September 14, 2023. With the passage of that deadline, UAW members are currently striking and picketing locations across the nation, including here in Ohio.
“Having been a union member, raised in a UAW family, and later serving as an attorney for the UAW legal services, I see several important facets in the current strike, such as the growing disparity between corporate profits and the declining income of employees in relation to increasing costs of living,” said Rep. Dell’Aquila. “Coupled with the development of electric vehicles which require fewer parts and thus fewer employees, and jobs moving offshore or to “right to work” states, it is easy to see why union workers have grown so frustrated. Continued and serious negotiations over the concerns of both sides is absolutely necessary to protect this historically critical U.S. industry and the rights of union employees who keep it viable.”
General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis have authorized $5 billion dollars in stock buybacks with their CEOs having received a 40% salary increase. The companies have earned $24 billion dollars in profits in the first half of 2023, indicating the success of the auto industry for the last few years. However, workers have been asking for wage increases, new working conditions, and to restore benefits that were cut while companies were struggling in the 2008 Financial Crisis; and these requests have not been met.
Rep. Dell'Aquila also supports federal legislation to protect workers’ rights to form a union and collectively bargain like the ProAct, as well as Senator Sherrod Brown’s Workers Healthcare Protection Act to prevent employers from cutting off striking or locked out workers’ healthcare. Rep. Dell'Aquila believes that we must update our labor laws and strengthen our workforce to meet evolving economic conditions. Strikes have been called across the country, from actors to autoworkers; and he believes that we must support everyone’s right to a living wage and a good job with reasonable working conditions.