Pullman carworkers union is planning to strike over wage cuts, an increase in the cost of living and a shortage of health care workers in the city, with the aim of forcing the city to cut $2.5 million in benefits for its workforce.
The union is calling for a one-day strike on Monday at the beginning of the new year, a decision that would force the city’s $3.9 billion payroll to be cut by nearly a third, and more than half of the carworkers’ pensions to be scaled back.
The strike comes as Pullman, a car manufacturer based in Michigan, faces a national backlash after the company hired a company-owned tow truck to operate its fleet.
The company has faced an increase of about a million jobs in the past year, with some of those in the industry arguing that the increase has been driven by automation.
The pushback comes amid a nationwide push for a $15 minimum wage, which has been adopted by cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.
“We know that there is no substitute for a fair wage, a safe and secure work environment, and access to quality health care for our employees,” union President Robert Cripe said in a statement.
“The economic impact of the minimum wage increases is staggering, and it’s time to end this cycle of wage cuts that only further hurt Pullman’s bottom line.”