MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Middle Tennessee branch of the United Auto Workers union made a stop in Memphis to stand and picket with fellow members already protesting.
It was just a few weeks ago when UAW members at the AC Delco Distribution Center on Pleasant Hill Road, which has ties to General Motors, walked off the job and onto the picket line.
These members are striking back against some automakers as workers across the nation, including here in the Mid-South, are demanding better benefits and raised wages.
“Contracts affect beneficiaries,” said Jeffrey Thomas, president of UAW Local 2406. “Those who have lost their lives and our benefits are greatly affected by what comes out of the contract.”
Thomas says this is where he and the dozens of others who walked off the job more than a week ago will be until they get what they feel is their cut.
“We were at this point In 2019. I was here right here on this very same line,” Thomas said. “But it’s 2023 and nothing has changed, except for prices, inflation, COVID, death, trauma, and hard work. So if you were in my shoes, wouldn’t you ask for more? Wouldn’t you expect more?”
Sunday’s strike was a bit different. Those from a Middle Tennessee branch joined those from the Mid-South for an added boost.
“All of our members are doing shifts. We are trying to keep the morale up. We’ve got tremendous support from the community,” Thomas said.
Three miles from the Pleasant Hill location, there were more union workers set up and geared up for the long haul.
“We are making our votes count, so I think it’s actually a generational movement, a generational twist,” Thomas said. “A moment in history, that is going to last for a long, long time.”