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Day 3 of UAW strike: Local man says GM doesn’t care about breaking up families

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Dan Santangelo, of New Middletown, was transferred to a new plant but came back to stand with his former workers

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The strike that halted production at 33 General Motors factories across the country continues into its third day.

UAW leadership says talks are moving slowly, but are progressing. Some of the biggest issues continue to be wages and the cost of health insurance.

For some Valley workers, the process has been tough on them and their families.

“They shut it down and they don’t care about our families,” said Dan Santangelo, of New Middletown.

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Holding a sign, Santangelo stood on strike Wednesday outside the main entrance of the now idled GM Lordstown plant. He worked there for almost 24 years.

When the plant was unallocated, he transferred to Bedford, Indiana.

“It was the hardest decision of my life was to leave my family, but I have to do what I have to do for my family. It stinks,” he said.

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Santangelo is a second-generation GM employee and joined his home UAW Local 1112 union on the picket line Wednesday.

His family still lives in New Middletown. When he’s working, he comes back every three weeks to spend a four-day weekend with his family.

“I decided it’s what’s best for my family with five years left to go is to take that transfer so I can provide for my family. My family is staying here while I’m six hours away,” Santangelo said.

On Sunday night, Santangelo joined his new local union and walked off the job.

Meanwhile, Jason Reed and his family are headed down to Bowling Green, Kentucky with a camper.

“Our future’s still not really determined because it hangs in the balance of the outcome of the contract,” Reed said.

“People are trying to make ends meet — work in another city and state, pay bills, upkeep their place here,” said Dan Morgan, UAW Local 1112 shop chairman.

“Hopefully, we’re all back in the Valley and get that plant reopened, that’s the best outcome for everyone,” Reed said.

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