PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — Workers at the General Motors parts redistribution center in Pontiac walked out of the building at 11:30 a.m. and onto the picket line.
“It’s kind of an honor. We’re all proud that we were chosen. We’re ready," Janice Rice told 7 Action News.
She said when UAW president Shawn Fain announced the Pontiac facility was next to go on strike, cheers erupted among her 300 co-workers.
The parts redistribution center is called the GM Customer Service and Aftercare facility (CCA). Parts for various vehicles and model years are shipped from the facility to other parts distribution centers.
Many workers 7 Action News spoke with say pay is their top concern since the warehouse is a tier two facility.
“We’re below production rate. So, we’re the ones that are going to be directly impacted by this negotiation for more than the production plants are," Rice explained.
Derrick Times said there’s also a pay disparity among workers within the warehouse, and so he’s looking for fair wages.
“Hopefully, we can bring some positive change, and we can stick with it," he said.
Standing with union rank-and-file members on the picket line were UAW international vice president Mike Booth and secretary-treasurer Margaret Mock.
Booth told 7 Action News parts warehouses are big money makers for General Motors. So, cutting the supply of parts hits the company where it hurts.
“The bottom line is we want a fair contract for the membership. We’re not asking for anything outrageous. There has been movement at the bargaining table. We’re not going to discuss that today but there has been movement and this is about a fair contract," Booth explained.
Mock said, “So, what you see here is the power of the people, and everyone that you see out here, this means that they have a voice at that table, at that negotiation table and just know that we don’t want to be out here but the company left us no choice.”