Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is speaking out for the first time on the three-week old UAW strike against General Motors.
And she is telling 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick she is concerned.
Skubick: “Are you concerned this strike could lead to a recession?”
Gov. Whitmer: “I’m concerned about it. I’ve been watching it.”
The governor is not only watching, she delivered donuts to the UAW strikers near her residence in Lansing.
And, of course, her concern is two-fold; for the strikers but for the rest of the state as well.
Striking workers living on $250 a week in strike wages are not pouring millions of dollars into state coffers when they are on the job.
And if you combine suppliers and striking workers, the estimated loss to the state is about $300 million in direct wages.
So when does the strike reach the economic danger point?
“Everyday is a serious day that goes by,” explains the governor.
As this strike drags on, the longest one since 1985, the governor is calling both sides looking for any glimmer of hope.
She said, “I do think there are some glimmers of positive news but I still remain concerned that some of the bigger issues have not been melded out.”
The strikers are demanding higher wages, especially in light of the salaries earned by top executives that far exceed what line workers take home.
The governor says the strikers are right.
“Every member of the public understands that CEO compensation in this country is out of control. That differential between the individual employee and the head of an organization, that’s true in all sectors and that’s why there is so much support for the people who walk the line now.”
The governor is hoping that the walking stops soon.