What GM’s Pay Raises Mean for America’s Middle Class
The UAW is considering a contract with GM factory workers.
Americans have historically looked to autoworkers to lead the way in raising wages and setting the bar for middle class jobs. During the post war era, UAW contracts were often copied by the steelworkers (USW), electrical workers (IUE), and other industrial unions. The rising wages and benefits of industrial workers, in turn, led to greater demand for goods and services and a rising standard of living for other workers as well.
Through labor organizing and collective bargaining, the rank and file of the United Auto Workers union helped raise and defend standards for pay and benefits in the auto industry that in turn helped build the strongest middle class in history.