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Temp workers are the next hurdle in strike negotiations

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 19:13:30-04

LANSING, Mich. — There’s another sign that the UAW strike against General Motors is winding down.

GM announced that striking workers are once again eligible for company-paid health insurance benefits.

But there may be some more hurdles that might not be settled when the strike is.

"I love my job. I love having that sense of fulfillment and putting cars together. If you work at GM, you're supposed to be set for life, and we've got workers that are still getting assistance and seeking help. That's not fair," said Monic Hidalgo.

Monic is one of those temp workers who could be out of a job at any time, strike or not.

"For any reason a temporary worker can be walked out of the plant and told good luck," she said.

Temp workers at General Motors can work for 90 days before becoming a full-time employee, but that's not a guarantee.

"I have worked for GM since February 8th, 2016. That's three years, seven months, two weeks and four days I believe," said Hidalgo.

And she still has to fear for her job.

"We've got temp employees that have been working for almost four years now," said Local 602 Vice President Steve Delaney. "That's not a temporary employee."

"We’re tired of walking on eggshells," said Hidalgo.

As a temp worker, Hidalgo gets the same pay as full time employees but not the same benefits.

"If they got hired tomorrow, their seniority would start tomorrow...those last four years would be for nothing," said Delaney.

He says those temp workers have support from both union leadership and full time employees.

"They’re model employees, and they want to work for General Motors. They didn't want to be a temporary worker forever. That's why they're here."

"We show up and work our butts off every day and we've proven ourselves day in and day out," said Hidalgo.

Monic and the thousands of other temp workers hope that with the end of the strike comes the end of their job uncertainty.

"We've proven ourselves and we're ready to get back to work," Hidalgo said.

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