Term of the Day: Stand Up Strike

The financial definition you need to know today, Sept. 15, 2023

United Auto Workers members picket outside of a Ford assembly plant.
Matthew Hatcher/AFP / Getty Images.

When the United Auto Workers (UAW) started their "stand-up strike" Friday, not all members who voted to strike stopped working.

In this stand up strike, workers walked out at specific locations designated by their union rather than all members striking at once. About 13,000 workers are striking at the Ford Motor (F) plant in Michigan, the Stellantis (STLA) Jeep Wrangler plant in Ohio and the General Motors (GM) plant in Missouri.

Key Takeaways

  • A stand up strike is when work stoppages are limited to workers at select locations that the union decides.
  • This strike strategy is playing out as the United Auto Workers went on strike against the biggest American auto manufacturers Friday.?
  • The stand up strike differs from other historic strike strategies where all union members walk out at once or a sit-in strike where workers refuse to work while remaining at the workplace.?

“Instead of striking all plants all at once, select locals will be called on to 'Stand Up' and walk out on strike,” the UAW explained. The union said the stand up approach would give them “maximum leverage and maximum flexibility” in negotiations.

This new strike strategy differs from others seen in labor union history. Rather than a walkout impacting all union members or a  sit-down strike where workers occupy the workplace but refuse to complete work tasks, the stand up strike relies on the participation of select members of the union’s choosing.

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  1. The Detroit News. "UAW strikes Wayne's Ford Bronco, Toledo's Jeep and Missouri's GM truck plants."

  2. United Auto Workers. “What is a Stand Up Strike?.”

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