MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN)- Factory floors are empty, as streets in Detroit and across the nation are filled with picket lines.
According to CBS News, over 48,000 members of the United Automobile Workers union went on strike against General Motors Sunday evening. 55 GM facilities in the country have halted production as the union workers await a deal with General Motors after their four-year contract expired Saturday at midnight.
Workers and GM are bargaining over higher pay, medical insurance, and job security. It has been twelve years since the last strike against GM.
The strike is impacting GM dealerships across the state, including here in the U.P. like Marthaler dealership in Marquette, who has noticed a lack of parts being delivered.
“I was actually talking to the delivery driver for parts yesterday. He did not have our shipment from the warehouse. They were not allowing him to pick them up, so we did not get our normal stock shipment. We haven’t had anything major that we need yet that hasn’t shown up,” said Jon Pleaugh, Service Manager for Marthaler.
Without the necessary parts, new vehicles cannot be fixed and vehicles that are finished cannot be delivered.
Parts Manager Mark Menhennick said the business will do whatever they can to get parts for their customers.
“We can only hope that they’ll be patient, and like I said we’ll do whatever we can to try to obtain parts, whether it’s from a different dealership or anywhere we can do dealer trades. But it’s going to be really tough with this going on,” said Menhennick.
Menhennick also believes this strike will have long-lasting impacts on their business, which provides more than 50 jobs to the area.
“Our first goal [as a] whole dealership is customer satisfaction, and to make the customers happy but we also rely on our paychecks. If we don’t have parts to sell or cars to sell then we just aren’t making money.”
General Motors latest statement says in part: “Negotiations have resumed, and our goal remains to reach an agreement that builds a stronger future for our employees and our business.”