Lear Seating Plant Workers Vote to Strike for Wage Increases, Cost-of-Living Raises

lear seating plant workers vote to strike for wage increases, cost of living raises

lear seating plant workers vote to strike for wage increases, cost of living raises

Thousands of workers at the Lear Seating plant in Hammond, Indiana in the US are set to go on strike for major wage increases, cost-of-living raises, supplemental unemployment benefits, and a good retirement, among other demands. 

The manufacturer, which supplies seats to the Chicago Assembly Plant that are used in the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles, in a Monday and Tuesday vote by workers witnessed an overwhelming 94 percent margin. This comes after the workers rejected a contract proposal by 95 percent on August 6. Members of United Auto Workers (UAW) rejected Lear’s contract proposal. 

Union members say proposed pay raises did not cover cost-of-living increases due to inflation. They said Lear is making hundreds of billions a year and only executives benefit. The workers want recognition and reward after working at the plant through the pandemic while company leaders worked from home. 

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According to the UAW Local 2335 contract summary, Lear proposed increasing starting wages from $15.50 an hour to $17 an hour, and the top wage to $25 after ratification. It said the wage would be increased to $27 an hour by 2026, and a $1,500 bonus, as well as 56-cent per hour increase to their wages. 

Fausto Rodriguez, President of the UAW Local 2335, said they want to get an agreement passed that is suitable to the company and avoiding any shutdown to production. However, this deal sparked outrage and opposition from workers. A worker described the first contract proposal as an “insult”. “No pension. No profit sharing. No health care for when we eventually retire. No COLA. Wages are not keeping up with inflation. Higher premiums.” 

But Rodriguez brushed off the workers’ concerns. “You think you have a great contract, and you have it thrown back at you by quite a majority of the members. You need to work on it again and get it right.” The executive said when the UAW says they will work on it again and get it right, they mean they will prepare another virtually identical agreement and call another round of voting until workers vote the right way. 

“We’ll go back and negotiate as many times as it takes.”

About Wiz Writer

Wiz writer is a regular contributor to the workers' rights. Blogger, writer, strategist, and Passionate about making a dent in the digital universe.

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