DELTA TWP., Mich. (WLNS) — With a strike threat looming in just 24 hours, Lansing area businesses are preparing for the worst. 

UAW and the Big Three automakers have until the current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. Thursday to get a deal, or workers will hit the picket lines.  

While previous labor negotiations have gone down to the wire, sources say it’s never been this tense with the two parties as far apart as they are.  

“It’s a battle for the working class against the rich,” says UAW President Shawn Fain. “The haves and the have-nots, the billionaire class against everybody else.” 

Fain made those comments in a live stream Wednesday night to union members, as the negotiations with Ford, GM and Stellantis are coming near to deadline.  

Union leaders shared their demands with automakers in mid-July.  

But Ford CEO Jim Farley says the demands will make it difficult for the company to finance. He called it the most lucrative deal in decades. 

“We actually invest more than we make so that profitability is really important for our future and I will say, again, I’m optimistic we can reach a deal but there is a limit.” 

The precarious position of the negotiations is something Steffan Farrell has been keenly watching. Farrell owns Tony M’s Restaurant. The business is just down the street from where GM rolls out new vehicles in Delta Township.  “They can’t come to an agreement because they are so far off right now,” he says. 

A strike will hit his staff in the pocket. “They’re used to making the GM guys tip well, and now you take that away from them because they will not be coming while they are on strike,” Farrell tells 6 News while food and drink orders fly past him in the restaurant. “They will be picketing out here but they won’t have the money.” 

The lack of money from union members eating will also hit his business. He estimates he could lose as much as 60% of his business.  

Fain, president of the UAW, is expected to announce what plants will strike first Thursday at 10 p.m., just under two hours before the deadline.