Workers at the car company General Motors are refusing to go to work. When employees band together and decide not to work, it is called a strike. Usually, a strike happens when employees ask for better working conditions.
Nearly two weeks have gone by, but talks between workers and General Motors have not ended the strike. Employees are fighting for better wages (money) and benefits, but so far, the two sides have not been able to agree.
One of the workers’ complaints is that people hired as temporary (short-term) staff do not get the same benefits as regular employees. Yet, temporary employees work right alongside the others, doing the same job, and getting paid less. It also takes a long time to become a regular employee – as long as eight years.
Bill Duford is an assembly worker at the Romulus, Michigan, plant. He has been working at GM for 37 years. He said, “They need to come up with something for the temp workers, something for the new hires to move up [to full pay] quicker than eight years.”
When employees walk out on strike, they usually march outside their workplace until a deal is made and they can go back to work. Even though a strike can be useful, both the business and employees can lose a lot during this time. The company loses out because there are fewer people do the work needed. Employees suffer because do not make as much money while striking as they do when they are working.
This is not the first time workers have refused to work at the auto company. GM has a long history of strikes held to gain better benefits for its employees. The strikes date back to at least 1936, but this is the longest one in nearly a decade.