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Union members walking the picket line at GM plant in Delta Township

Posted at 6:31 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 05:47:23-04

LANSING, Mich. — Unions members are also walking the picket line at the General Motors plant in Delta Township--union leaders say they'll be out striking 24/7 until a deal is reached.

In Delta Township specifically, workers have seen a lot of support, but tensions are running high as everyone waits to see what will happen next.

"I will tell you, there's more solidarity and we're behind our leadership in Detroit 100%. I've never seen solidarity from our membership like I do now," Todd Trout, Local 602 Shop chairman said.

UAW members in Lansing have received a lot of support from lawmakers, business owners and the community, but the uncertainty has many people worried.

"They're just going to be out here and doing their duties. This is something that's very hard for them. It's a very emotional time and they're coming out here. A lot of those folks who are out there on the picket line, it's their very first time for them. They don't know what to expect," Bill Reed, Local 602 president said. "I don't think they're going to be done until they can hammer out what they really want to get, a fair contract that's fair for everybody."

The president of Local 602 says the issue stems from the way temporary workers are treated.

"Right now, we've got two separate divisions in our plant. We've got those who are coming in as temporary workers, they're not making as much as a full time worker, then we've got those who are full pay and benefits. As members coming in, they're equal," Reed said.

"We're looking for a way to get them hired, not just temporary status forever," Steve Delaney, Local 602 vice president said.

The union is asking GM for stability for temporary workers and to make sure they get the seniority they've earned.

"When we come in to our job, we make this company profitable. We want insurance that those men and women who are coming in and doing that work have the benefits, have the pay, have something that they can own and come back to and want to come back to their job. That's what we're asking for. We're all in this together, we all should be the same," Reed said.

"Stay tough. We'll get through this and we'll get back to work as soon as we get a fair contract," Trout said.

GM leaders are staying quiet as negotiations continue. In a statement, a spokesperson said "our goal remains to reach an agreement and builds a strong future for our employees and our business."

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