LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As United Auto Workers strikers continue walking the picket line here in Lansing Sunday, they’re not sure just how long they’ll be on strike, but they say they are ready to go for as long as it takes to get what they deserve.
It’s been nine days since UAW President Shawn Fain announced the first wave of strikes against the Big Three automakers. The second wave came two days ago when the union leadership asked 38 more facilities to join the picket line, including the General Motors Lansing Redistribution Center.
It was a hot day, but people came prepared. There were rumors they would be seeing union president Shawn Fain on Sunday. No one was sure yet when or if he’ll be visiting, but many have a good idea of what they’ll say if he does.
“Hopefully our president will come in and he’s negotiating with the team, you know, for our benefit. And we’re here to support that and he’s here to support us. One full circle,” said UAW auto worker Richard Jusino.
The redistribution center is a General Motors facility under the local UAW chapter 1753. It is responsible for getting parts to auto shops and GM plants locally and across the country. This means that closing down a place like this will affect the public.
If you need parts shipped from the factories for repairs, or if you’re in the market for a popular model, access will start to decrease if the strike isn’t resolved.
It’s unclear whether consumers will decide to blame the workers–or the automakers–but public support plays a big role in any prolonged strike. Right now, only about 12% of the union’s total workforce is on strike, so if leaders wanted to, they could expand to even more plants in Michigan and nationwide.
This would eventually shut down the production of the most profitable cars in the United States.
Here in Lansing, Local 1753 Vice President Jean Duchemin voiced his support of Fain and the strike. “We all believe in him. We believe in him so much and we know that we’re going to get those record contracts,” said Duchemin. “He always says the corporations race to the bottom with our wages. Well, we’re in a race to the top right now; he’s gonna get us there. “