This article appeared in the October 18, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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The democratic process that keeps workers and firms engaged

Matt Rourke/AP
Picketing United Auto Workers Richard Rivera (left) and Will Myatt react to news of a tentative contract agreement with General Motors, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Oct. 16, 2019. Bargainers for GM and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract deal that could end a monthlong strike that brought the company's U.S. factories to a standstill.

Today, we look at one of the impeachment inquiry’s key figures, Ukrainian corruption, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s downward trajectory, Hong Kong protests from a different angle, and the reimagining of pop concerts.

But first, there’s this. You’ve heard it all before: The country is hyper-divided. Unions are passé. Blue-collar workers resent management. Corporations prefer robots to people. There are truths embedded in these clichés. Yet, when push comes to shove, old-fashioned collective bargaining still works.

General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement this week that could end the monthlong strike. Both sides were hard-nosed – and for good reason. But in the end, they compromised because they saw they had more to gain from working together than fighting each other. The union agreed to let three plants close, while GM halved the time it takes for temporary workers to earn full-time pay.

The process is democratic. Union members will vote on the deal, sealing its fate.

Perhaps that spirit can prevail in the new Chicago teachers’ strike and the 2 1/2-year-old walkout against Charter Communications. The tentative GM-UAW deal is a refreshing reminder – maybe even a wistful one – of how leaders with different visions can find common ground and the majority decides if it’s fair.

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This article appeared in the October 18, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/18 edition