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International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said on Sunday that its members will stand in solidarity with the UAW and honor its picket lines as the union begins a strike against GM at midnight.
“Teamsters and the UAW have a decades-long relationship of having each other’s back,” Hoffa said.
Teamsters spokesman Bret Caldwell said 1,000 of its members will refuse to transport GM vehicles to dealerships as a show of solidarity during the strike.
About 49,000 UAW members are set to begin a strike Sunday night after the union failed to reach a new labor agreement with GM by the Saturday night deadline.
Union leaders said its members had helped the company reach “record level profits” and complained that GM was refusing “to put hard-working Americans ahead” of further profits.
GM disagreed on Sunday, saying it had brought a “strong offer” to the union with improved wages and benefits.
It’s not clear how long the strike will last. The UAW also represents Ford and Fiat Chrysler employees, and the GM deal could potentially set a template for the union’s other upcoming negotiations.
Hoffa lauded the UAW “for its work to ensure that its GM employees are treated with respect and dignity on the job.”
“At a time when more and more companies are downsizing and shipping jobs out of the U.S., it is imperative that unions fight for their members,” he said. “Workers should be rewarded for good work with fair wages and benefits. That’s what the UAW is demanding.”