LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The most recent United Auto Workers strike targeted parts distribution centers. While you might not be on strike or a union member, you could still feel the effects if you end up at the mechanic.
While area maintenance shops and dealerships tell 6 News they still have the needed parts, striking workers are holding the line. More than a dozen of them braved the rain and mist Wednesday night outside of the GM Lansing Redistribution Center.
With more than 30 years at the center, Anthony Graham hopes a fair deal is on the horizon. Something to recognize the effort he and other workers put in during the pandemic.
“I am one of the people who came and worked when I could have stayed home and got $600 dollars extra plus unemployment, I came to work. and I made sure customers got parts. We’re loyal to General Motors. We want General Motors to be loyal to us,” said Graham.
The Lansing Redistribution Center is just one of many across the country called on to strike last week. Parts shipped out here head to dealerships and auto shops like Chuck’s Garage.
While cars are still being worked on and parts are being replaced, general manager Ben Cooley says for now, they have what they need. “But as this stalemate and time goes on, we will probably run into some problems getting those OE parts,” said Cooley.
However, there are good alternatives to using OE or original equipment parts. “Because we are an independent, we run a lot of vendors that have availability on aftermarket parts. So I think the aftermarket shops are really going to start shining where people may have some problems 2 to 3 weeks now with the dealerships,” he said.
Cooley says dealerships typically use parts straight from the carmaker.
Several Lansing area GM dealership employees tell 6 News they were not able to do an interview but still have the parts they need.
As the strike goes on, Cooley says he focuses on helping the people who walk through his front door.