GM workers struggle with daily expenses as long strike continues

Detroit (AFP) – Betty Johnson, who has worked on General Motors assembly lines in Michigan and Tennessee for more than 34 years, said she knew a strike by the United Auto Workers union would mean personal sacrifice.Nearly 50,000 GM hourly employees have been striking since September 16 in a walkout that has halted production at…

GM workers struggle with daily expenses as long strike continues

Detroit (AFP) – Betty Johnson, who has worked on General Motors assembly lines in Michigan and Tennessee for more than 34 years, said she knew a strike by the United Auto Workers union would mean personal sacrifice.Nearly 50,000 GM hourly employees have been striking since September 16 in a walkout that has halted production at 31 factories and led to thousands of layoffs at auto supply companies.”It’s not easy,” Johnson said. “I’ve got $45 left from my $250 in strike pay. I’m getting ready to hit up my 401K (retirement account) and borrow from myself,” she said as she picketed outside GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.GM employees who are boycotting receive only $250 week — a fraction of their normal salaries — though the figure was increased slightly to $275 a week by a UAW board vote on Saturday.Johnson has already contacted the United Way, the local community organization that helps families in distress, for assistance in stretching out her utility bills and mortgage payments.The union has urged members to contact a community information and referral services hotline and passed out cards with the corresponding phone number, Johnson said.Credit unions supported by organized labor have also stepped forward to help some of the strikers.”I don’t see how you can feed five children on $250 a w
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