Businesses, neighbors brace for potential UAW strike at GM Parma plant

Tony’s Family Restaurant buzzing with talk about the effects of a UAW strike in the area.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 3:43 PM EDT
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PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - Tony’s Family Restaurant on West Pleasant Valley Road was busy on a Friday morning with the United Auto Workers strike a topic of conversation.

Sylvia Ciereszewski’s brother and father both worked for General Motors for decades.

“The prices, everything is going up, everything, hospitalization,” said Ciereszewski. “I think the people should get what they want.”

“Forty bucks an hour, sorta steep,” said Harold Madison about a proposed 40 percent pay hike the UAW has demanded. “I hope they win but I don’t think they will.”

Jeep workers in Toledo have already walked off the job as well as G.M. workers in Wentzville, Missouri and Ford workers in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit.

Workers at Parma’s GM plant haven’t walked off the job nor have other Northeast Ohio workers at the Ford Engine plant in Brook Park and the Ford Assembly Plant in Avon.

They are currently working without a contract and are on strike standby.

Tyler Newton, a 2023 Normandy High School graduate, says workers need to get paid.

“We want more money, obviously,” said Newton. “It just depends on the workers. If they want to work, they’ll get more money. everybody does.”

A Jack Frost Donut worker on Pearl Road says business has rebounded after COVID and everyone understands if 900 G.M. workers walk off the job, it will hurt local businesses.

“You’re not getting the money. You can’t support someplace that has to charge you for breakfast, lunch, dinner.”

“It will definitely affect it,” said Matt Werner, who grew up in Parma. “There’s a lot of things happening in Parma, everything around the schools, it’s the last thing that Parma needs so I definitely think it will affect it.”

G.M. workers last walked the picket line in Parma four years ago.