HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WXYZ) — When you look at just the numbers, you might wonder why the UAW chose to strike against General Motors 22 days ago.
“They are the highest paid workers in the automotive industry. GM has the highest labor costs,” said John McElroy of Autoline Daily.
The UAW wanted to hold General Motors accountable for its plans to close 5 plants, including the Warren Transmission and Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plants.
“Hardship,” said Dominique Reddick, when asked to describe what it is like being on strike. “I am a single mom of two.”
She is a temporary employee at Detroit Hamtramck Assembly. She says it is impossible to support two children on the $250 a week strike pay. She wants her job preserved and the strike over.
But does the UAW also want the strike over?
“It is actually in the union leadership’s interested to drag this out as long as possible, because once these contracts are signed sealed and delivered, all eyes are back on union leadership and these corruption charges,” pointed out McElroy.
A UAW regional director from Missouri was put on leave on Friday as he is under investigation for numerous crimes, including embezzlement of union dollars.
In the meantime, high ranking current and former leaders are under scrutiny.
The union denies any effort to drag out negotiations.
In a statement it tells 7 action news it is working in the interest of the 97% of membership that voted for the strike.
Workers have heard the news break about corruption investigations into UAW leadership and say they stand in solidarity.
“We will go as long as we have to go. If it goes on 3, 4 months, we will be right here on the line,” said James Gottler, who was out on strike in front of the Warren Tech Center.