RICH HILL, Mo. — The General Motors strike isn’t just affecting union employees.
One Rich Hill man said since United Auto Workers went on strike, he’s been out of work — and he doesn’t even work at the Fairfax plant.
It’s the ripple effect of any strike: Suppliers and other vendors downstream have been hit, too.
Monday marks the second week of the UAW strike against GM, the longest union strike against the auto manufacturer since 1970. Roughly 50,000 union members have been hitting the picket lines since midnight of last Monday, demanding better wages, health care and job security.
Antonio Alverado hopes an agreement comes soon so they can all get back to work soon. That’s because on Sept. 16, the GM assembly line wasn’t the only one that stopped.
“With GM being our only customer, we have to be ready whenever they are,” he said.
Alverado has worked for Yanfeng in Riverside for the past four years. He’s a set-up tech working with plastics for the interiors of locally made GM vehicles.
“Every day is not promised, so we kind of have to be prepared to either work or not work,” he said.
For the past week, he’s been without work.
“We went in Monday to talk to HR to get the schedule down to see who’s going to be able to come into work, and who’s going to be laid off and have to find another means for a while,” he said.
Alverado said he doesn’t know all the details about UAW and GM, but he does know for many the bills are hard to pay.
“I think it’s fair to say that they deserve a raise just like anybody else, regardless of how their corporate offices, people above them, are running the company,” he said.
Until a deal is struck, he’ll have to come up with a new game plan.
“The bills are going to keep on coming,” Alverado said. “So if I’m not making any money now to pay for them, I’m going to have to pay for them later on. It might make the holidays and birthdays coming up a little more difficult.”
Alverado said he hopes both parties can come to the table so everyone can get back to work.
“It would lift a huge rock off my chest,” he said. “It would make me feel really good. I don’t like sitting around doing anything, so I try to find something to do. Being able to get up and feel like I’m supporting my family would help me sleep a little better.”