The United Auto Workers union is increasing the strike pay it offers workers who walk off the job for the second time this year following a spate of strikes amid the ongoing worker shortages nationwide.
The 372,000-member UAW union approved increasing weekly strike pay to $500, up from $400, at this week's convention in Detroit. That comes after the union increased strike pay from $275 a week earlier this year.
The pay increases will be welcomed by workers who go on strike, including more than 1,000 CNH Industrial workers who have been on strike at plants in Burlington, Iowa, and Racine, Wisconsin, since early May.
That is just one of the latest in a string of strikes since the pandemic began. The largest one was a monthlong strike by 10,000 Deere & Co. workers last year that led to a new contract that included 10% raises. Other unions have also gone on strike to demand better wages and benefits, including about 2,500 machinists union members who plan to go on strike next week at three Boeing plants in Missouri and Illinois and a two-month-long strike last year by 1,400 workers at Kellogg's cereal plants in four states.
More than 100,000 railroad workers also came close to going on strike this month before President Joe Biden intervened by appointing a board of arbitrators to help settle the dispute.
Workers nationwide have been emboldened to ask for more because of the ongoing worker shortages and because workers didn’t always feel appreciated while working long hours during the pandemic.
The increased UAW strike pay will also begin on the first day of a strike instead of being delayed until the eighth day of a strike.
UAW President Ray Curry said "raising the strike pay is a statement from UAW delegates that they are ready to fight for the wages and working conditions that UAW members deserve.