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The Lookout | January 24, 2021

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Editorial: GM walks the picket line

Editorial: GM walks the picket line
  • On September 20, 2019

For many residents, the spirit of the community evolved from Lansing’s rich automotive history spanning back to the early 1900s.

In 1901, Ransom E. Olds moved Olds Motor Works to the city. Lansing is now home to two plants: The Delta Township Assembly plant and the Lansing Grand River Assembly.

Together, the two plants employ roughly 4,000 hourly and salaried laborers.

On Monday morning, Sept. 16, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) ceased work as scheduled as the UAW declared a strike the previous Sunday evening.

Lansing’s UAW workers are amongst 46,000 GM autoworkers across the country also on strike.

The country’s autoworkers are now in jeopardy of reduced pay and the loss of dental, vision, hearing, sick and accidental benefits for the duration of the strike. 

The personal risks are felt as a necessary means to an end to receive higher wages, retention of a health insurance plan and assurance that GM will not close four plants, including one in Michigan.

With community success in mind, it is problematic to envision what rippling effect and impact the strike will have on the Lansing community.

Autoworkers who felt they couldn’t afford the vehicles they produced are also no longer spending the same amount of money at local businesses.

The UAW strike means less disposable income and tighter budgets to sustain workers’ families.

The Lookout stands in solidarity with all UAW employees on the picket line with the hope of a quick resolve.

During the strike the Lansing community can show support for autoworkers and their families by donating non-perishable food items to the Greater Lansing Food Bank and the Cristo Rey Community Center of Lansing.

Protestors also encourage a friendly toot of the horn while driving past UAW members on strike.

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