Auto workers strike against three major car companies
Members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union took to the streets of downtown Detroit to rally on the first day of the UAW strike in Detroit, Michigan. The strike is a result of growing frustration among workers over the significant disparity between CEO compensation and worker pay.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), CEO compensation among America's 300 largest companies has skyrocketed by 1,460% since 1978, while the typical worker's pay has only increased by 18% (both adjusted for inflation). Furthermore, the CEOs' compensation has grown 37% faster than stock market growth during the same period.
The auto industry in the US, which faced near-collapse in 2008, received a $80 billion injection of taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy. President Barack Obama emphasized that this assistance would lead to a new beginning for the industry, creating new jobs and prosperity.
In order to save the auto industry, union workers agreed to freeze wages temporarily and give up certain pension and healthcare benefits. However, the average hourly earnings for workers in car manufacturing have fallen approximately 19% when adjusted for inflation, according to EPI Senior Economist Adam S. Hersh.
Meanwhile, CEO pay at the Big Three Detroit automakers - GM, Ford, and Chrysler parent Stellantis - has increased by an average of 40% during the same period. This increase in CEO pay is roughly equivalent to the raise that striking workers are currently demanding.
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