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Ball is in union's court as strike is in its fourth week

Posted: 7:55 PM, Oct 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-09 19:55:13-04
uaw workers on strike

LANSING, Mich. — The ball is in the union's court as UAW workers remain on the picket lines.

This comes after General Motors made an offer on a new contract Monday.

Job security for union workers is said to be a big sticking point in negotiations.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes sent a letter to union leaders Tuesday night.

In the letter, he said there's been little progress in getting a commitment from GM to build more cars in the U.S.

He said union negotiators are fighting for a middle class way of life for workers.

On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she's concerned about the growing impact of the strike.

On Monday, GM also shut down V8 engine and continuously variable transmission assembly lines at its Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico, idling about 415 workers.

The company also closed two assembly plants in Mexico and Canada due to shortages of parts.

Economists say a recession becomes more possible with each passing day and each missed paycheck for striking GM workers.

"We're starting to see an impact, and we're starting to see that impact ripple through the state's economy," Senior Analyst at Anderson Economic Group Sarah Mixon said.

Experts at Anderson Economic Group estimate union workers have lost a combined $450 million in wages, which could lead many families to cut back their spending.

"Workers are going to start conserving more cash and that's going to affect--think about a restaurant who depends on UAW workers at lunchtime...if there are not UAW workers, they may start to feel the impact," Mixon explained. "Local grocery stores may start to feel the impact as workers conserve cash. They'll be less travel, things like that."

Workers walking the picket line are still firm in their support of union leadership. But some GM workers admit money is getting tight as they try to get by on $250 a week in strike pay.

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