LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Some auto industry experts tell 6 News a Lansing GM plant could be next to hit the picket line.
Seven days into a historic strike against all three of the big automakers, UAW President Shawn Fain says he’s prepared to call for more walkouts if negotiations haven’t seen progress.
Hitting the picket is a burden on both the company and the worker.
Dan Hodge is a member of the UAW at the Grand River GM Plant, and he’s preparing for a strike.
“We need a raise and until we get a raise, I don’t think this a good place to work anymore,” says Hodge. He’s been with GM for 28 years, and he knows living off strike pay, about $500 a week, is going to put pressure on his life.
“I’ve stocked my fridge already, and I’ve checked my bank accounts,” he says. “And I think I’m ready for it, but who knows, it could go for one week or for many a weeks.”
He’s been scaling back for weeks, he says, well before the strike was officially called last week.
“I’m cutting back on all means at home” he says. “I’m not vacationing, I cancelled my vacation already. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m glad I’m not living paycheck-to-paycheck, because some people are living paycheck-to-paycheck and we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Hodge says he would like to see pay and benefits like he used to get before 2008 — when workers made sacrifices to help out GM in their bankruptcy.
“I think the biggest thing is the retirement benefits, no raise in three years, and working conditions are less than what they were,” he says.
With speculation a Lansing plant could be called out on strike next, Local unions 602 and 652 say they’re ready.
Hodge says it’s difficult, regardless of the preparations.
“It’s changing our whole world. Until General Motors takes a stand for their workers, we’re gonna be in this same situation,” he says.
Fain will host an event at 10 a.m. Friday. He may announce additional locations where workers will go out on strike, joining the workers from three other plants.