In what looks to be the first major potential strike of 2024, 1,500 UAW members of Local 933 in Indianapolis are making preparations to walk out at Allison Transmission if the company continues to lowball workers in contract negotiations.
Allison Transmission, which manufactures commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems, amassed over half a billion dollars in profit through the first three quarters of 2023. Company CEO David Graziosi has raked in nearly $18 million in the last two years alone. The union contract expired on November 14th, and on December 1st, workers resoundingly rejected a tentative agreement by 96% as the company refused to address core demands.
In a new video, Allison Transmission workers speak out about what they’re fighting for, and against management’s unwillingness to come to a deal that honors the sacrifices and value UAW members have made at Allison.
“We gave up a lot during the recession, and in those years there really hasn’t been a reciprocation of the sacrifices we made during that time,” said Pattie Evans. “Just like when we lost cost of living, we don’t have any assurance that going forward we’ll be able to keep up with inflation and things like that.”
“I’ve had some medical issues,” Martha Brumett said, explaining how the taxing work schedule at Allison leads to more injuries on the job. “You have a lot of wear and tear on your body. On your wrists, on your back. Your feet are constantly tired. It takes a toll on you.”
“I work seven days a week. Anywhere from nine, ten-hour workdays,” said Lisa Perry. “I have gotten used to working those many hours so that I can afford and take care of my bills.”
“I would love for it to go back to where it was, you know, good benefits and good pay,” Allison retiree Donald Reed said. “You got workers out there working a lot more hours than we worked, with a lot less pay. It should be better now than it was when I was working there. It’s not. That’s a shame.”
Negotiations are taking place during a watershed moment for the labor movement in the United States, as hundreds of thousands of workers have won record collective bargaining agreements in the last year, and public approval of labor unions remains at a near all-time high.