By Luke Fillers, Staff Writer
Several weeks have passed and the General Motors strike continues with picketing and patience. It has been over a month since the strike started and negotiations are still up in the air.
“We are heading into uncharted territories,” said Holli Murphy, the president of the United Automotive Workers labor union at the Local 2209 in Fort Wayne. “We are waiting on a counter-proposal.”
The striking was on day 29 on Monday, October 14 with the UAW fighting on behalf of the GM workers. Negotiations include long term temporary work and higher wages. They take care of the worker and provide them what they need for the strike.
“It’s my job to deal with local negotiation here,” said Rich LeTorneau, the negotiating chairman for the UAW. “We make sure the picketers are organized, professional, and positive.”
The UAW assigns time for the workers to ensure that picketing occurs 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They also support the workers by providing food and water for the picketers at each of the entrances to the plant.
“We look out for each other,” said picketer Emily Boner in an interview. “We are given four-hour shifts to picket, and some people volunteer more hours. Some people volunteer 40 hours a week.”
Boner personally volunteers on Friday in the Union hall helping any way she can.
“The support is overwhelming,” said Murphy. “We get a lot of positive feedback through the community.”
The support doesn’t only occur within the UAW; the strikers also have support from the local community. The most obvious sign of support is from drivers honking and waving at the picketers when they pass by.
Drivers waiving won’t finalize the strike. Negotiations have to be completed before the strikers can return to work.