On this week’s episode of Lever Time, producer Frank Cappello speaks with Labor Notes staff writer Luis Feliz Leon about why a potential autoworkers strike could be transformational for younger union members struggling under depressed wages and limited benefits.

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A transcript of this episode is available here.

Luis has been reporting on the ground about the ongoing contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and the “Big Three” automakers — Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (formerly known as Chrysler). Last Friday, 150,000 autoworkers voted overwhelmingly to strike if a deal isn’t reached by the time their current contract expires on September 14. Under the new leadership of reformist president Shawn Fain, the union is ready to take action if their bold demands aren’t met. 

In today’s interview, Frank and Luis break down everything you need to know about the ongoing negotiations. Luis offers his perspective on the union’s current strategy for exacting the best possible deal, and what a potential strike would mean for workers and the auto industry. He also breaks down how the union’s former leadership gave away major concessions during the Great Recession, and why a new union dynamic is long overdue. 


BONUS PREMIUM POD: On Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, we’ll be sharing David Sirota’s interview with economist Isabella Weber about monetary policy, inflation, and how we can use strategic price controls to rein in corporate profiteering. 

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