CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — It’s the second week of the United Auto Workers strike against Detroit’s big three carmakers, and the picket lines have reached the Queen City.
The strike began a week ago, on Sept. 15, at auto-assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.
Friday morning, union leaders expanded the pickets to General Motors and Chrysler-Jeep parts distribution facilities.
Workers walked out of 38 different facilities in 20 states, including North Carolina.
GM employees were seen carrying signs outside the Charlotte parts center off Westinghouse Boulevard. They told Queen City News that they have dug in for the long haul.
“There’s going to be somebody out here, 24 hours a day until we get this done,” UAW Charlotte member Roderick McClurkin said.
UAW members have demanded these companies give them four-day work weeks, job guarantees, pensions and a 30 percent pay increase.
They call the demands reasonable since companies recorded near-record profits over the last few years.
UAW Charlotte member Shanna Allen explained that it’s a move they did not want to be forced to make for a second time in four years.
“It is disheartening because, it’s like…do you all really care about your people?” she asked. “They have families just like we do.”
Experts said the first week of the strike costs the U.S. economy roughly $1.6 billion.
This is predicted to soon trickle down to customers, car dealerships and auto-parts shops, in ways similar to the pandemics industry impacts.
“It hurts our customers are well,” Shanna said. “That’s who purchases our product. They have to think about them.”
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