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On eve of contract talks, UAW raises strike pay

UAW retirees protesting
Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio

United Auto Workers delegates from across the country are meeting in Detroit this week.  

The convention will set the terms for talks on the next four year contract with Detroit automakers and other UAW represented companies.

UAW President Gary Jones says there will be extra security for workers as the union heads to the bargaining table.

"The international executive board has decided to raise the strike pay from $200 per week to $250 a week, effective immediately," Jones told delegates to cheers on Monday. 

He said strike pay would go up another $25 a week on January 1, 2020.

Delegates will consider a wide range of resolutions, from eliminating lower wage tiers for workers with less seniority, to protecting pensions, health care, and profit sharing.

UAW retirees do not send delegates to the convention, but many came nonetheless, to rally inside Cobo Center and advocate for a return of cost of living adjustments, which the union agreed to give up during the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler during the Great Recession.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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