UAW strike affecting Michigan auto suppliers

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s now day four of the UAW strike against General Motors and there’s still no sign of an agreement.

More than 49,000 General Motors workers across the country walked off their jobs on Monday in a dispute over the union’s effort to get a bigger share of the company’s profits.

Two major sticking points in the negotiations are health care costs and giving temporary workers a clear path to permanent jobs.

A top UAW official said in a letter to members today that they’ve made some progress, but no specifics were given.

Now auto workers aren’t the only ones feeling the affects of the strike first hand.

6 News spoke with a few members of Local 652 who work for a local auto parts supplier and even though they don’t work directly for General Motors, they too are being laid off.

They have no idea how long this strike might last.

“We got to think about the corner store, we got to think about the barber shop, we got to think about the businesses in our communities. This is a lot bigger than just a GM contract,” said Jake Jacobson, a member of Local 652 and the bargaining chair for Android Industries.

GM workers aren’t letting up four days into a strike affecting tens of thousands of people nationwide, and now that number is growing.

“There’s about 50,000 of us in the United States right now that are directly being impacted without sub pay or strike pay, we’re out on the street,” said Jacobson.

Android Industries supplies auto parts to General Motors, but since the strike began, their work isn’t needed, and more than 200 of them right here in mid-Michigan are being laid off.

“We’re jumping through hoops, you know, having to go through unemployment and to look for work when we do have good jobs, union jobs, good paying jobs right here in Lansing,” said Jacobson.

Families are struggling to make ends meet.

“This is week one and I’m already getting phone calls where people are worried about gas, diapers, food,” said Jacobson.

Jacobson hopes an agreement is reached soon, but until then, more and more people will pay the price.

“This is about fighting for what’s right,” said Jacobson. “I hope that cooler heads prevail and that the workers get what they deserve, what they’ve worked for, and what they made of this great country.”

In the midst of the strike, General Motors is also warning union members of a phone scam regarding health insurance.

They say if you are contacted directly, do not provide your social security number.

They’ll never call you asking for that information.

Stay with 6 News as this story develops.

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