Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Margaritas and Mistreated Temps

Recently, the UAW’s Stellantis National Council held a meeting. This isn’t news, national councils do need to meet, after all. What is news is the venue they chose for it. Rather than taking a meeting close to home, Shawn Fain, Rich Boyer, the UAW’s local Stellantis officers decamped from a cold Michigan March to the Sheraton Resort and Casino in sunny Puerto Rico for a week by the beach. 

The Sheraton Puerto Rico is a luxurious spot, offering Puerto Rico’s largest casino, an infinity pool, expensive restaurants, and even catamaran trips. As a cherry on top, it’s all just a few minutes away from the beach! It’s definitely a little expensive, but with so many nice amenities it’s easy to see why the UAW leadership would prefer it to a convention center in Michigan. There isn’t a single Stellantis manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico, but we suppose that’s not important compared to working on a good tan. 

While the UAW-Stellantis council was soaking up the sun, UAW members with Stellantis were suffering. 

This year, hundreds of supplemental (temporary) employees working for Stellantis have been laid off, with some estimates expecting thousands to be out of work once layoffs are finished. During the strike against the Big Three, Shawn Fain promised to “end the abuse of temps.” The UAW even bragged about how much they “won” for temps at Stellantis when trying to ratify their contract.

Your UAW national negotiators went into this round of negotiations focused on ending the abuse of Supplemental Employees. SEs have helped make Stellantis billions, but they have not been rewarded for their work. This agreement changes that…  they will finally be put on a real path to seniority employee status. But even before gaining full-time status, SEs will receive better benefits, more rights and more respect.

Mass layoffs are a funny way of putting temps on “a real path to seniority employee status.” 

Perhaps UAW leadership should spend more time trying to keep their promises and less time drinking margaritas at a Puerto Rico resort. 

Categories: UAW