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Senator Rosen joins local UAW strikers on the picket line


By Michelle Baker 

On Wednesday, Oct.11, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen joined the United Auto Workers strikers on the picket line in Stead, Nevada. Senator Rosen was greeted by members of UAW Local 2162, as well as other local unions at the General Motors parts distribution center north of Reno. 

The senator, a former union member herself, addressed the crowd with a story about her grandmother, Emily, a single mother in the wake of World War II, raising two children and looking for work. Despite not having a high school education, she did well for herself and her family—something Sen. Rosen attributes to her role in a union. In her union job at a Nabisco cookie factory, Emily received health care, a pension, retirement and “she had her dignity,” Rosen said. 

“I stand here thinking about my Grandmother Emily, and what it meant for her to get that monthly pension check, have that health care,” Rosen said. “That’s why I’m standing out here today with all of you, in her memory, because I know what it means.” 

President of UAW Local 2162 Alan Carrillo said he welcomes the support of Sen. Rosen.

“It’s nice to have, you know, senators, people that, you know, are in office that can make change for, you know, labor workers, to be out here, to be supporting us on the picket line.”

Local 2162 union members are asking for wage increases, eliminating tiers, and restoring cost-of-living salary adjustments.

UAW Local 2162 members have been on strike since Sept. 22, as part of the national strikes against “The Big Three” automakers—Ford, General Motors and Stellantis—which started on Sept. 15. The union is enforcing a new striking tactic, “The Stand Up Strike,” that calls on select local unions to “stand up” and walk out on strike, and will continue to call on more unions to strike as demands are not reached. Currently, there are 25,000 UAW members at 43 Big Three facilities in 21 states on strike.

Even with the support of politicians like President Joe Biden and Sen. Rosen, UAW plans to strike until their demands are met. Despite the slow progress, Carrillo is positive about the impact of the strike for his union. “We’re still not where we want to be, but we are making progress,” he said.

“The unions built the middle class, they built this country, and they deserve to be treated that way,” Rosen said. 

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