‘We have to move forward’: Local UAW union workers taking part in GM strike

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Roughly 49,000 workers at General Motors plants in the U.S. plan to go on strike just before midnight Sunday, but talks between the United Auto Workers and the automaker will resume.

Some 200 union workers from UAW’s Local 31 Chapter tell FOX4 they plan to take part in the strike Sunday night, some adding that they made sacrifices for General Motors that have not been accounted for.

“We believe that we presented a strong offer to the UAW,” GM Vice President Gerald Johnson said. “In that offer is over $7 billion in investment in plants and programs that also affect over 5,400 jobs – new or created.

An offer that the company says they stand firmly on but GM union members here in Kansas City say they tend to rock the podium

“Anybody that’s working is coming out of there and we’re getting on the picket line because that’s what we do,” UAW Local 31 President Clarence Brown said.

Brown said he plans to be first in line. The Fairfax plant makes Cadillac XT4’s and Chevy Malibus and though we can’t guess how many will attend the strike there are nearly 2,000 union workers at that plant.

“We gave up a lot to help them get back where they are and we’ve continued from that day to this,” Brown said. “Help them to get into the position they are in now. We have not, as far as I’m concerned received the compensation from what we done to pull them out of that gutter.

He’s referencing the financial trouble that put General Motors on the brink of bankruptcy nearly a decade ago

“The needle hasn’t gone far enough to give us what we deserve,” Brown said. From this corporation, this is something that we feel is affecting our livelihood. Not only ours, this thing can affect working families throughout this country and we can’t fold. We have to move forward.

And that’s being done in the form of a strike where Brown tells FOX4 the union is asking for GM to change their offer.

“GM is selling cars and trucks and making money hands over fists, yet we’re being talked to like we’re paupers,” Brown said. “Why? What have we done? But make better cars for you to sell?

The other union members FOX4 spoke with said that it’s their job to stand up for fair pay and not just for themselves but for the average working American.

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