AVON LAKE, Ohio (WJW) –- Several dozen members of the United Auto Workers Local 2000 gathered outside of the Avon Lake Ford assembly plant in a display of solidarity and support for three chapters striking for better wages.
UAW Local 2000 President Bill Samples said the message is clear –- they demand a better paying contract.
“We just wanna be prepared if we’re called next and we’re supporting our brothers and sisters on the other strike lines,” Samples said.
Nearly 13,000 workers are part of the initial strike at three locations across the country, including here in Ohio at Toledo’s Stellantis Jeep plant.
UAW claims the big three automakers CEO pay has increased by 40% over the last four years, while autoworkers have received six percent raises since 2019.
UAW Local President Dan Schwartz said the 900 employees he represents are also ready to join the fight.
“We’re ready to do what we need to do to get what’s ours,” Schwartz said. “What’s good enough for the executives, what’s good for the corporation, is sure enough good for us as well.”
On Sunday, UAW President Shawn Fain turned down an offer that would have secured 21% raises from Stellantis. Schwartz called that offer a slap in the face.
“The executives are making gross amounts of money and you know we want a little piece of the action,” he said. “Forty percent seems like a lot but it really isn’t.”
With a wide margin between the two sides, Local UAW chapters are ready to strike for as long as it takes.
“The rich get richer, and we just stay stagnant right where we’re at,” Schwartz said. “This is across the board for all working men and women that get up and go to work and want to have a quality of life and retire and send their kids to college and do all of those things.”
Monday will mark day four of the strike.