UAW members taking pay cut during strike against GM

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KOKOMO, Ind. – United Auto Workers members are on day four of the strike against General Motors.

They are demanding higher wages, better health care and more job security.

Members of the Local 292 were out striking today in front of the General Motors plant in Kokomo.

GM has nearly 7,000 employees in Indiana and about 200 of them were out today in the Kokomo area.

“We had a four-year contract with GM that expired Saturday night at midnight and we had a meeting in Detroit and everyone decided that we would go on strike – midnight on Sunday night,” Local 292 Chairman Greg Wohlford said.

The strike started after the UAW leadership announced that a new labor contract with General Motors stalled and collective bargaining would not be extended.

The union is paying its members $250 dollars a week during the strike.

Wohlford says the pay is an adjustment for members.

“They still have bills to pay. They still have families to feed, college to pay for and all that stuff. It gets tough when you lose so much of your salary,” Wohlford said.

Wohlford feels like what they’re doing is the right thing, because they deserve better.

“It starts with us, but if all the workers in Kokomo were to lose their job including the steel workers, pretty soon there is not going to be restaurants. There won’t be hotels, malls or anything. It will be a big dust bowl,” Wohlford said.

Earlier this week GM  tweeted in part:

“Our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for everyone. A work stoppage impacts our employees, families, communities, and the American economy.”

General Motors says they originally presented the UAW  members imposed wages and health care benefits and over 7 billion in US investments.

Wohlford says UAW negotiators are sitting down with GM to figure out a way to end the strike.

Until then members will strike until there’s a solution.

“We are not only fighting for our contract we are fighting for the American way of life and the American dream,” Wohlford said.

The UAW says some of their member’s insurance has been cut off due to the strike, but they have had a lot of support from other community members.

There’s no set date of when the strike will end.

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