Growing worries across the state as the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against General Motors (GM) has entered its fourth week.
Contract talks took a turn for the worse as both groups are battling over product commitments for U.S. factories.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she’s concerned about the impact of the strike on the state’s economy.
Businesses that depend on the auto workers are starting to feel the pinch.
“I think a lot of the enthusiasm for a quick settlement has went out the window and as time goes on, people are starting to settle in and look at their finances,” said Brad Khirfan, owner of Khirfan’s Super K.
People’s hopes for a quick resolution are dwindling.
Profits are also slowing for some local businesses. Khirfan said his store has lost two-thirds of its business since the strike began.
“But honestly that’s what it boils down to, if people are able to pay their bills. As we get closer to the holidays, I feel like it will have an even greater impact on our county as a whole,” Khirfan said.
Things do not look to get better anytime soon.
On Sunday, Oct. 6, the Vice President and Director of the UAW wrote to union officials that negotiations have taken a turn for the worse. He claims that GM isn’t addressing the union’s main sticking points.
Right now, UAW workers are getting $250 in strike pay each week. Local business owners said it’s affecting their business.
Michael Hawley owns Latina’s which is a local restaurant visited by many auto workers each day. He said that business is slow.
“Take-out, the shop guys would come in for lunch for take-out,” Hawley said.
Hawley said that while the dinner rush is consistent, a major part of his business is on the stand while the strike continues.
Business owners surrounding the GM Flint Assembly Plan said they just want business as usual.
“Hopefully it ends soon. For everyone’s benefit,” Hawley said.
“General Motors and the UAW will be able to come to some sort of mutual compromise that will allow both parties to move forward in a positive way,” Khirfan said.