UAW members at Allison Transmission gear up for strike if contract talks don’t progress

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Union workers at the fourth largest manufacturing employer in the Indianapolis area say they’re prepared to go on strike if their demands aren’t met.

The 1,500 members of UAW Local 933 are making plans to walk out at Allison Transmission Inc. if the Speedway-based auto manufacturer, which makes commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems, doesn’t meet the union’s demands.

The union is asking the company to eliminate a tiered system of wages that was introduced following a widespread crisis in the U.S. auto industry resulting from the 2008 global recession. They’re also asking for wage increases, cost-of-living adjustments and improved health care and pension plans.

Representatives from Allison Transmission did not respond to IBJ’s requests for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The local chapter released a video Tuesday featuring interviews with UAW workers who expressed frustration at the lack of progress in negotiations.

“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, an electrician at Allison Transmission. “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.”

The members have been working under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that expired Nov. 15, according to the company. On Nov. 22, the two parties reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract, but more than 95% of union members voted to reject it, said George Freeman, bargaining chair for UAW Local 933 at Allison Transmission.

“Allison Transmission failed to listen to us and come to a fair and equitable agreement,” Freeman told IBJ.

Freeman said the union plans to return to the negotiating table Wednesday in hopes of reaching an agreement. They did not give the company a deadline for when they might strike, he said.

Of the company’s 3,500 workers, 3,000 live in Indiana. The company reported earnings of $531 million on $2.8 billion in revenue in 2022, and CEO David Graziosi made $9.3 million in compensation the same year, according to SEC filings.

The plan to strike comes on the heels of major labor wins in 2023. The UAW, under the leadership of Shawn Fain, a union firebrand from Kokomo, organized a strategic strike against the Big Three automakers that resulted in agreements offering huge gains for hourly factory workers as the industry transitions to electric vehicles.

Allison Transmission share were down 2% on Tuesday, to $56.98 per share, and are up 35% over the past year.

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6 thoughts on “UAW members at Allison Transmission gear up for strike if contract talks don’t progress

  1. Hard to blame them, the truly historic generational inflation from Biden is crippling working families. No matter how you cut it, prices go up, wages can’t keep pace with inflation, we become poorer over time.

    1. When the middle class stops getting squeezed out of existence by companies who have money for shareholders but not the workers, who end up needing to run up out credit card bills or work two jobs to make ends meet.

      Blame Biden? This has been coming for decades, especially since 2008. You can blame Biden for pushing it over the top if you’d like. But a lot of workers who took it in the shins in 2008 have said “enough”, and they’ve been sending that message for a long time.

  2. It’s starting to all make sense to me now. I see why these companies were moving to Mexico and other countries. They could pay them whatever, or at the very least very limited in what they paid them. No the borders are open like a flood gate and the illegal immigrants can start to fill these jobs that spoiled entitled Americans have taken for granted. Or the other solution is robotics. Robots dont ask for raises or healthcare and they most certainly dont go on strikes

    1. Sounds like this comment may be coming from an authentic spoiled American who thinks they are entitled.

    2. Earnings of $531 million on $2.8 billion last year, and a 35% increase in share prices YTY, doesn’t suggest this company can’t afford to restore their pre-recession wage structure or pay COLA increases.

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