2023 Newsmaker: Former Kokomo union worker leads strikes against automakers

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Shawn Fain, United Auto
Workers national president (Photo courtesy of UAW)

Shawn Fain, a union firebrand from Kokomo, first shocked organized labor in March by being elected the United Auto Workers’ national president. Then he surprised the Big Three automakers by organizing a strategic strike in September that resulted in tentative agreements offering huge gains for hourly factory workers and a more secure future as the industry transitions to electric vehicles.

In late October, the UAW won from GM roughly the same package of wage increases agreed to days earlier by Ford and Chrysler owner Stellantis. Pay for veteran workers will rise 33%, and GM will give $2,500 in five payments to retirees through 2028.•

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