UAW strikes at Ohio General Motors plant

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 7:12 PM EDT
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PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - The employees at the General Motors plant in Parma and the city itself are bracing for potential strikes as the deadline for the contract between the Union Auto Workers and automakers comes to a close.

Two hours before the deadline, UAW confirmed workers will strike at the GM propulsion plant in Toledo will take the picket line first at midnight on Sept. 15.

Parma’s UAW employees will continue to work past the deadline, however, they will be without contracts and go on “strike standby.”

UAW Local 1005 President Schwartz said Thursday it is an “across the board” strike, just not all at once.

The UAW’s targeted strike approach means the plants will take turns being on the picket line.

“You know, you say a louder prayer at church and light another candle, and hopefully, if they do go on strike, it’s very short,” said Parma’s Mayor, Tim DeGeeter. “We met Monday with our police chief, fire chief, and safety director just with the pending strike.”

He says possible strikes impact families across his city both inside and outside the plant.

A strike would impact income tax revenue, which has both the mayor and city treasurer also monitoring the strike closely from a financial standpoint.

Restaurants in the area report already seeing a decline in customers as preparation for a strike gets underway.

For the mayor, communication with both GM management and the union is key.

“The UAW president, {Dan} Schwartz, I’ve known him for a real long time, we have each other’s numbers,” said Mayor DeGeeter. “I saw him last night at a function, and he said we’re going to talk again today {Thursday}; he’s supposed to be getting updates; whatever he can share with me, I’m sure he will, whether that’s good news or bad news.”

He adds the strike four years ago is providing a bit of a blueprint for how to tackle a potential strike in the coming days.

The union’s contract with GM, Ford, and Stellantis expires at 11:59 Thursday night.