UAW workers prepare to start living on strike pay
BURTON, Mich. (WNEM) - The UAW strike against the Big Three automakers is in its third week with no end in sight from the outside, and strikers will soon be living off of $500 per week in strike pay.
Among the demands the union is asking from Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis is a 36 percent pay raise, better benefits, and a four-day work week with 40 hours of pay.
At the onset, the strike fund was about $825 million.
Strikers on the picket lines in Burton outside the GM Davison Road Processing Center are preparing for the change in income.
The reality of making $500 a week is setting in for UAW strikers at GM’s Davison Road Processing Center in Burton.
Sharlette Gilbert, a UAW worker on strike, said she has mixed feelings about living on strike pay.
“It makes me feel ambivalent. I don’t want to be striking by any means; I actually want to get back to work, but not being able to get back to work, I’ll do what I need to do. I would do this for free, to be honest with you, if I had to,” she said.
Gilbert said it’s worth the sacrifice to fight for a fair contract.
“We all work hard as a GM community and we need to be respected and we need to have a raise. I make $25 an hour. I will never make anything more per the last contract, and that’s ridiculous. I work my butt off beside people that make $7, $8 dollars more than me. Those people need to make more money; we all need to make more money. We’re worth it. We work hard for it. We just want a piece of the pie like everybody else and we want to make a good living because we’re worth it,” she said.
Gilbert said she had a message for the CEO of GM.
“I’d like to say something to Mary Barra: Look at this interview and realize we want to make money too, OK? We want to make a good living for our children. We don’t make enough money, OK? We don’t make enough money for what we do for GM and our plants and for our family,” she said.
Another striker in Burton agreed.
“Mary Barra better take us seriously because we’re not going until we, at the very least, restore back what was taken in 2008,” she said.
The strikers said they are going to last one day longer than GM.
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