'Can you live on $250 a week?': UAW workers push for higher strike pay amid contract negotiations

Strike enters day 25
Posted at 5:41 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 22:43:57-04

DETROIT, Mich. (WXY) — General Motors workers have now been on strike for 25 days. That is 25 days of getting by on $250 a week of strike pay, which is not easy.

“Can you live on $250 a week? Can you,” asked Walter Dietz, a striking GM worker. “That is not even a mortgage payment.”


UAW members began striking in early September with a request for job security and better health benefits among other things.

“There is a lot of people hurting and we are on our 4th week,” said Julie Allera, a striking GM worker.

Labor and civil rights attorney Rick Martin walked the picket line with workers, protesting not only GM but the UAW. He is calling for the union to increase the strike pay to send a message to GM that workers will be able to strike as long as needed.

“We can’t let the workers stay out there with $250 because we cant win the strike,” Martin said.

The UAW tells 7 Action News the membership voted to set the current strike pay level. In January, it is scheduled to increase to $275 plus benefits. Right now, there is no plan to increase it before then.

“Call a special conference and raise the strike pay up to $750,” Martin said.