LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – UAW leaders are vowing to strike without warning as contract talks with Detroit automakers drag on. The move has gotten support from many Lansing striking auto workers.
The newest expansion to the auto strikes happened without warning. 8,700 thousand United Auto Workers walked off the assembly line at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant Wednesday.
UAW president Shawn Fain says the strike has entered a new phase. That means no more Friday announcements of new strike locations, those decisions could come at any moment now.
In Lansing Friday, the move is getting support from many UAW members, people like Bennie Ward. He’s been on the picket line for three weeks, when the redistribution center was called to strike. Ward says it’s been tough not getting a paycheck.
“When you get $500 dollars a week as opposed to X amount of dollars a week, it’s a big setback. So, we are trying to do the best we can,” he said.
But holding out for a better contract is important. For the union and for businesses in the community.
“We build the cars. We can’t afford the cars. You know what I’m saying? We need to get some type of stability for everybody. It’s just not us, it’s retail, restaurants, all types of stuff,” said Ward.
A few miles down the road, workers from GM Lansing – Delta Township Assembly Plant have been striking for two weeks.
Cody Zaremba was watching Friday’s UAW contract update from home, just before hitting the picket line. He says the main goal is to end an employee tier system, something he’s willing to wait for.
“it’s unfair for these guys to do the exact same work and getting less benefits and getting less pay,” said Zaremba.
As of Monday, GM officials say more than 9,000 workers are on the picket line but another nearly 5,000 workers are off the job due to the strikes.