Exterior of General Motors plant in Parma
The UAW strike could expand if a contract is not reached with the Big Three by noon on Friday, September 22. GM workers at the Parma Metal Center are bracing to be called next to join the picket lines. Credit: WKYC Studios

By Bri Buckley

As the Friday noon deadline looms, when the United Auto Workers president says they will add more plants to its strike against the “Big Three” Detroit automakers unless “serious progress” is made in contract negotiations, UAW Local 1005 President Dan Schwartz says he and other General Motors employees in Parma are bracing to be called next.

“Its stressful because we just don’t know what’s next,” Schwartz said Thursday. “The burn barrels are in the back, the firewood could be here in the matter of a phone call, the signs are made upstairs — it’s just a matter of getting that phone call.”

Schwartz says working without an agreement has been tough for his 900 members in the Parma Metal Center. On Wednesday, GM announced it would idle a plant in Kansas because of the shortage of parts due to the strike, laying off about 2,000 workers. Stellantis, owner of Chrysler, also laid off over 300 non-striking workers on Wednesday.

What happens if there is no deal?

According to Schwartz, if Parma employees aren’t chosen to strike next, they could see layoffs in the coming weeks.

“But I am so proud of that membership, my brothers and sister in there,” Schwartz added. “They’re dug in, and the more that this goes, they’re just going to dig it deeper and get more and more pissed off.”

The UAW says it received a new contract offer from Stellantis, but did not share more details. As negotiations continue, Schwartz tells 3News the strike is about more than just the auto workers.

“This is more for everybody who gets up in the morning and puts their work boots on — or goes and works in a hospital, or is a fireman, or a policeman, or a road worker, a construction worker — anybody,” he said. “It’s our time.”

Watch WKYC’s coverage here

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