UMass Amherst Labor Center Director Sees Union Victory in Settlement of UAW Strikes Against GM

AMHERST, Mass. - The proposed settlement of strikes by the United Auto Workers (UAW) at two General Motors parts plants is a major victory for the union and for the union movement nationwide, according to Tom Juravich, director of the Labor Relations and Research Center at the University of Massachusetts.

"The UAW took on one of the largest corporations in the world and brought General Motors crawling back to bargaining, desperate to hold on to its market share," Juravich says. "While the UAW may not have gotten everything it wanted, this is unquestionably a knockout for labor."

Juravich says the proposed settlement, coming on the heels of the Teamsters Union victory over United Parcel Service last summer and the recent organizing of more than 19,000 workers at American Airlines, puts some muscle behind the assertion that "Labor is back." Labor is not only back, Juravich says, it is winning and winning big.

Over the past few years, there have been union victories in the service industries, but many people wrote off basic industry and industrial unions, Juravich says. "This victory at General Motors clearly shows that we shouldn’t underestimate the UAW or the rest of the industrial unions," he says.