LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors is now in its second week, with little promise of an end coming anytime soon. Negotiations continued all weekend long and occurred again on Monday.
The strike is impacting over 30 plants and warehouses around the country, including the one in Lordstown, where picketing continues.
On Monday, retired workers were on the lines with the laid-off workers.
Organizing a picket line at five gates 24/7 at the Lordstown plant takes planning. But with a lot of the union members transferred, UAW Local 1112 is relying on some of their retirees to help picket for the workers out of town.
No matter if you are an active GM worker who has transferred or a retiree, everybody is helping each other out.
“Me being a fellow retiree, we will do whatever it takes to help this local and the UAW as a whole,” said Bill Adams, acting VP of UAW Local 1112.
Adams worked 32 years for GM before retiring. Now, he is back working again, but this time it is different.
“I am helping run the strike from here as part of the executive board. We are setting up, making sure we have picketers out there,” Adams said.
Because Lordstown is no longer an active plant, a lot of those volunteers are retirees.
“We have got retirees from the past 20 years or longer that are coming out and they are putting time in. They are here to show the solidarity to the actives and to the people that are laid off. We have their backs,” Adams said.
“I’m with them all the way,” said one of those retirees, Greg George.
He worked for 38 years as a team leader at Lordstown. Now, he is showing his support on the picket line.
“I have been union my whole life. I am still union even though I am retired and I am here to support my brothers and sisters, settle this contract to where it needs to be,” George said.
The talks in Detroit between the union and GM continue, with both sides being tight-lipped. It has been just over one week since union workers walked out of GM plants. Sunday was “Solidarity Sunday” with other unions showing their support for the picketers.
“We just have to fight this. It might take some time. It might be over tonight, it might be over tomorrow. Who knows, but we are just gonna do what we have to do to get through this to support our younger workers that are still out there keeping our pensions going for us,” George said.
Some of the transferred workers at Spring Hill and Bowling Green have been picketing on the front lines at those plants, then coming back home by driving up to 10 hours just to picket at the Lordstown plant.