UAW Local 2300 members who work at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, are speaking out about unsustainable working conditions and declining living standards despite the institution’s nearly $10 billion endowment. The union and Cornell kicked off contract bargaining on June 4 and the current agreement expires on June 30.

In a new video released by the UAW, “We are the Heart, Soul, and Backbone of Cornell,” workers share their struggles to make ends meet as their wages have stagnated and the cost of living continues to rise. Over 1,000 members of UAW Local 2300 are demanding a living wage, cost-of-living adjustments to protect against inflation, and increased staffing, among other key demands.

The video can be accessed here, and the media is invited to use the footage.

“House is double. Tax is double. Food is double. And tuition is double also,” Gopini Lama, a food service worker at Cornell, says in the video. “Everything doubled, but our pay did not double.”

Since 2020, the university’s endowment has increased by a staggering 39% while many workers can no longer afford to live in Ithaca or even pay for parking on campus.

“I don’t own a single thing in this life except for a 12-year-old car,” says Mitja Bontempo, a gardener at the university. “I don’t have the money to marry and have kids if I want to. They take us for granted. We are not adequately recognized and compensated. That’s the bottom line.”

“We’re chronically short-staffed. We’re chronically dealing with at least one or two positions absent,” says Leo Louis, a greenhouse grower at Cornell. “So that’s where you get into a situation where you’re working seven, eight days in a row. But you don’t get overtime, so workers burn out. So, then you’re more likely to lose more people.”

Negotiations are taking place at Cornell during a historic wave of unionization at college and universities across the country as workers continue to stand up and demand justice on and off the job.

Dayton, OH – On Wednesday, June 12, more than 70 nurses and medics at CareFlight servicing Miami Valley Hospital voted to join the UAW.

The workers provide critical care to severely injured or ill patients in need of immediate treatment via air or ground transportation. They are looking to improve working conditions, including fairer wages and benefits and have a greater voice on the job.

“This was an amazing morning,” shared Nikki Coleman, a flight nurse at CareFlight. “We look forward to having our voices heard and our needs addressed in a fair and transparent contract.”

She added, “Most importantly, we remain dedicated to serving our community by providing the very best service.”

“UAW Region 2B is proud to welcome the CareFlight nurses out of Miami Valley Hospital into our union,” said UAW Region 2B Director David Green. “Their desire to stand up and use their voices to fight for a fair and just contract has been heard.”

He added, “I want to personally thank the volunteer organizing committee (VOC) for all their hard work, and I commend Bill Lucas out of the organizing department and Eric Gadd, R2B servicing representative, for their support to the CareFlight nurses. When we work together, we win every time! Welcome to the UAW!”

Nazareth, PA – On Saturday, June 8, workers at BMW’s Regional Distribution Center in Nazareth, PA, voted by 99% to authorize a strike if necessary. The contract covers warehouse workers and expires on June 30.

The workers at the distribution center are facing stagnant wages and calls for concessions against a backdrop of rising cost of living and massive profits and shareholder payouts by BMW. Many of the workers have gone without a pay increase for over a decade, and the wage for most at the facility is less than $22 per hour, far lower than what economists estimate it costs for a family to live in the region.

“We’re part of the reason BMW’s raked in billions in profits, but workers in Nazareth haven’t seen that translate into pay raises. In fact, we’re falling behind,” said Zach Haas, bargaining unit chair. “We’re united and ready to join the stand up movement if we need to so we can get our fair share.” 

BMW has amassed $50 billion since 2021, with more than 20% of its revenue generated in the United States. The company has spent more than $3 billion in stock buyback schemes in the last two years and has announced plans to lavish another $1 billion on Wall Street shareholders in the future. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse received $9.6 million in total compensation last year alone.

BMW workers are the latest UAW members standing up to corporate greed. Thousands of UAW members have won record contracts in the last year, including auto workers at Daimler Truck, the Big Three automakers, and Allison Transmission workers in Indianapolis, IN.

UAW Local 1112 has reached a historic tentative agreement at Ultium Cells in Lordstown, Ohio, where workers build electric vehicle batteries for GM vehicles. The agreement marks a historic breakthrough for electric vehicle workers and a path forward that ends the race to the bottom pursued by corporate America throughout the EV transition.

The local agreement builds on the successes of the national contract that Ultium workers joined as a major win of the Stand Up Strike.

“Eighteen months ago, this company was on a low road path to poverty wages, unsafe conditions, and a dark future for battery workers in America,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “Ultium workers said, ‘Hell no,’ got organized, and fought back. Now they’ve more than doubled their wages by the end of this contract, won record health and safety language, and showed the world what it means to win a just transition.”

“We were told at the beginning of bargaining that Ultium workers would never be allowed to join the UAW’s national agreement at GM,” said UAW Vice President Mike Booth. “Not only did we prove them wrong, but we did them one better, winning a major local agreement that sets the standard for the EV battery industry.”

“Five years ago, when they closed Lordstown Assembly, it was a major gut punch – I know, I lived it,” said UAW Region 2B Director David Green. “They wrote Lordstown off for dead. They thought we’d settle for low wages and unsafe jobs. They thought wrong, and now Ultium workers are leading the way.”

“Organizing to win our union took relentless persistence on behalf of hundreds of my coworkers at Ultium. Negotiating this contract was no different,” said UAW Local 1112 Shop Chairman Josh Ayers. “We want this agreement to become a cornerstone for current and future battery plants across the nation. First we planned. Then we took action. And now we have a tentative agreement to be proud of.”

Now, the 1,600 UAW members at Ultium Cells will review the details of the agreement and hold a ratification vote in the coming days. If ratified, the agreement will set a new standard for electric vehicle battery workers everywhere and mark a major milestone in the just transition to EVs.

For more on the fight for justice at Ultium, visit

Workers at BMW’s Regional Distribution Center in Nazareth, PA, voted by 99% to authorize a strike, if necessary.

United, these members are pushing back against concessions and fighting to end tiers, win record wage increases to match BMW’s record profits, COLA, profit sharing, and dignity on the job.

The current contract expires on June 30.

UAW Brothers and Sisters, 

The UAW’s commitment to ensuring equity, dignity, and inclusion both in life and in the workplace is unwavering. Collective bargaining remains our most powerful tool against discrimination of any kind. It is through this process that the UAW fights tirelessly so that working people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions can enjoy the protections of a union contract. 

We honor the legacy of LGBTQIA+ organizers whose contributions have too often gone underappreciated and unknown. LGBTQIA+ people face ongoing discrimination due to the lack of adequate federal protections in the workplace. At the same time, state legislatures continue to pass extreme, discriminatory laws that restrict both LGBTQIA+ rights, especially trans rights, and the freedom to join a union. Our movement will never tolerate hate and will continue to be a force for progress whether it’s in the courts, on the streets, or at the ballot box this fall. 

The UAW Women’s Department proudly stands in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community everywhere, this month and always. Together, we strive for a world where everyone is treated with the respect and equality they deserve. We are committed to creating safe, inclusive environments where all workers can thrive without fear of discrimination. 

Our fight is far from over, but together, we will continue to push forward, championing the rights and dignity of all individuals. The strength of our union lies in our diversity, and it is through unity that we will achieve lasting change. 

In solidarity, 

LaShawn English, Director
UAW Women’s Department
UAW Region 1

Dear brothers and sisters,

Your bargaining committee met with an unprepared management team once again. Yesterday we presented our initial economic proposals. Today we reminded the company of those demands, and we’ll continue to show them why we are standing up together!

NO MORE TIERS – At times – workers were earning up to 47% less while working the same job. Never again. Equal pay for equal work.

RECORD WAGE INCREASES – While we fight to erase years of concessions, the company had the audacity to talk about minor percentages (3.8%, less than $1), but provided no real proposals of their own.




When we return to the table next week, we’ll present to the company more of our demands:



It’s time for BMW to do what’s right and settle for a record contract. Please continue to report bad management behavior and unfair labor practices to your union stewards and bargaining team. We will return to the table next week on June 11th, 12th, and 13th.

Please join us this Saturday, June 8th at Local 677 Union Hall 2101 Mack Blvd. Allentown, PA 18103 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm for our strike authorization vote!


Actualización De Negociación En Español 6/6/24

Queridos hermanos y hermanas,

Su comité de negociación se reunió una vez más con un equipo directivo que no estaba preparado. Ayer presentamos nuestras propuestas económicas iniciales. ¡Hoy le recordamos a la empresa esas demandas y continuaremos mostrándoles por qué estamos unidos!

NO MÁS NIVELES – En ocasiones, los trabajadores ganaban hasta un 47% menos, mientras trabajaban en el mismo trabajo. Nunca más. Salario igual para trabajos iguales.

AUMENTOS SALARIALES RÉCORD – Mientras luchamos por borrar años de concesiones, la empresa tuvo la audacia de hablar de porcentajes menores (3,8%, menos de 1 dólar), pero no presentó propuestas reales propias.




Cuando volvamos a la mesa la próxima semana, presentaremos a la empresa más demandas nuestras:



Es hora de que BMW haga lo correcto y se conforme con un contrato récord. Continúe informando sobre el mal comportamiento de la dirección y las prácticas laborales injustas a los delegados sindicales y al equipo de negociación. Volveremos a la mesa la próxima semana los días 11, 12 y 13 de junio.

¡Únase a nosotros este sábado 8 de junio en el Local 677 Union Hall 2101 Mack Blvd. Allentown, PA 18103 de 1:00 pm a 3:00 pm para nuestra votación de autorización de huelga!


Members of Local 286 who work at Penske Logistics walked off the job in an unfair labor practice strike following the company’s refusal to negotiate a first contract in good faith. 

More than 40 workers in the clerical unit of the El Paso, TX, facility voted to form their union over a year ago and have been stonewalled by the company in their attempt to win a first contract. Members are seeking fair pay, real paid time off, and better benefits, particularly health care.

“I am on strike because clerical workers at Penske deserve a fair contract, and to be able to care for our families,” said Juan Amparan, a Penske worker. “Health insurance is so expensive that my family hasn’t been able to afford to go to the doctor. This company treats us like we are machines and tools, but we are people.”

With a high premium and $6,000 a year deductible, the current option is so unaffordable that half of the workers don’t receive any health insurance. Most workers make around $18 an hour, while health care premiums cost around $180 per week. Workers are pushing to raise wages to at least $20 an hour and are striking to bring company negotiators back to the bargaining table in hopes of reaching an agreement.

“The company’s refusal to sit down with workers and hash out a deal with fair pay and benefits so workers can care for their families is unacceptable,” said UAW Region 8 Director Tim Smith. “It’s time for Penske to get serious and negotiate in good faith.”

Penske Logistics workers are the latest UAW members standing up to win their fair share of the massive profits they produce. Last year, thousands of UAW autoworkers walked out on strike for six weeks and won record contracts at the Big Three automakers.

Over 200 Webasto workers at the Pilot Road plant in Plymouth, Michigan have voted to ratify their first contract by an overwhelming 96% yes vote, winning raises of up to 51% over three years, among other gains.

The workers, who make convertible soft tops for GM, Ford, and Stellantis for the German auto supplier, organized in 2023 with UAW Local 3000, Region 1A.  They are the first Webasto workers in the United States to secure a collective bargaining agreement. 

“The company was mistreating us and doing whatever they wanted to do to the employees for years. People have been here for more than 3 years without a raise, which is unacceptable,” said Jammy Samuel, a Webasto Pilot Road UAW Local 3000 member on the Jeep Line. “We had enough. This contract will help protect us.  The cost of living has gone up, so, the pay should go up as well. It’s that simple.  Moving forward with this contract will help not only on our wages, but will help fairness and equality for everyone. I’m very excited about this contract, as are the rest of my coworkers at Webasto.” 

Many workers will receive a $9 an hour raise over the life of the contract, on top of a $2,250 ratification bonus. These Webasto workers are the latest UAW members to win big as part of the Stand Up Movement.

“In our 2023 contract negotiations, we won an additional $50,000 for eligible GM workers who were ready to retire, as an additional boost in retirement security for our members who have given decades of their working lives to this company. It’s called the Special Attrition Program, or SAP. We wanted to make sure workers who are ready to retire get an additional bonus as recognition for their service to GM, and the many sacrifices made along the way. 

One difference between what we won at GM and what we won at Ford and Stellantis is that every GM worker who’s eligible to retire during the life of the agreement will have the opportunity to receive the $50,000 SAP, if they choose to do so; not just those members who were eligible upon ratification. But the size, scope, and timing of each phase of the SAP was to be negotiated.  

As you know, we negotiated our first phase earlier this year, and won SAP eligibility for around 748 members. Once we announced this first phase, many members spoke up and said that we needed to expand the eligibility in this first phase. 

We heard you. So we took it back to the company and said it wasn’t good enough. 

Today I am excited to announce that we have won SAPs for ALL 1,412 GM production workers who signed up for the SAP. Those workers will immediately be eligible to receive the $50,000 retirement bonus, with retirement dates effective June 1st, July 1st or August 1st. That’s a big win, and a big expansion from what GM was first willing to offer. 

But we still have work to do. We have not yet won immediate eligibility of all of the 545 skilled trades workers who have expressed interest in taking the SAP; only about 142 are immediately eligible in this first window. We’re still fighting to win an expansion on that number. At GM, we have a shortage of skilled trades workers, a problem which will require creative solutions on the company’s part, and an expansion of their apprenticeship programs. We’re going to continue to fight for our skilled trades members who want to retire. And to be clear, every single member who is eligible to retire will have the opportunity to receive the $50,000 SAP during the life of this contract, skilled trades and production.  

The other good news is that the next window is coming soon. The company has agreed to open the next SAP window in the 4th quarter of 2024. 

We are hard at work on building on our contract victories, and intend to keep delivering for all UAW members at GM. 

In solidarity,

UAW Vice President Mike Booth