UAW workers at processing centers strike

Fain called on all UAW members at parts distribution centers at GM and Stellantis to go on strike.
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 9:57 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 12:14 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURTON, Mich. (WNEM) - UAW President Shawn Fain gave an update on the strike Friday morning, Sept. 22, calling on all UAW members at parts distribution centers at GM and Stellantis to go on strike.

The plants called to strike included the Flint Processing Center in Swartz Creek and the Davison Road Processing Center in Burton, along with 38 other locations across 20 states.

“It feels good because we are out here fighting for what we deserve,” said GM employee Ja’irre Lee.

Lee spoke about what it felt like to be part of the strike at GM’s Davison Road Processing Center in Burton.

“We gonna stay out and strike. Like they said, ‘Record profits and record contracts.’ We deserve it,” Lee said.

Rebecca Gorial agreed, saying it’s time for GM to share more of their wealth.

“There’s people that are still struggling out there, even working for the Big Three, you can’t even afford to buy our own vehicles,” she said.

When word came down Friday morning that the strike was on, GM employee Jesse James and members of UAW Local 651 were energized.

“As soon as our president decided to say we were going out on strike at noon, there was a big cheer, and we all, like, clapped our hands and we all hugged, and we all was happy because we know we’re doing this for the right reasons,” James said.

UAW Region 1D director Steve Dawes came to show his support for what could be a long strike.

“Our members are better prepared for this day than they have been any other time we’ve struck, and our local union leadership has done a great job doing that,” Dawes said. “You hear the membership; they’re engaged, they’re fired up, and we’re just looking for a fair shake.”

The mayor of Burton, Duane Haskins, also made an appearance to stand united with those wearing red.

“They need to know that, you know, us middle-class people have always struggled,” Haskins said. “I’ve worked three or four jobs my whole life, and I understand that with the cost of everything going up and how things have moved that to be able to keep up with that cost, there has to be a fair and equitable contract given so that people can still survive and live in this day and age. It’s tough.”

For his part, Lee had a message for his union brothers and sisters that are fighting for what they call a fair contract.

“Fight on. We’re gonna get what we deserve. All we gotta do is stay out here and do what we gotta do,” Lee said.

Stay with TV5 for the latest on this strike.

Subscribe to the TV5 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every day.