5/2/08

UAW-GM workers learn that strike doesn't pay

Related story: "UAW-GM striker: 'None of us know why we're here'"

United Auto Workers union members are still striking at GM's Delta Township Plant. They've been walking the picket lines for two weeks and that's putting a financial strain on many of them. Some are taking extreme steps to make ends meet. With their signs in hand day after day, workers at the GM Delta Township Plant walk the picket line. After two weeks without work or pay, workers like James Thelen are walking a thin line. James Thelen, GM worker: "It's hard to make ends meet."

Thelen says he made about $800 a week to support his wife and 8 year old daughter. Now, he's down to $200 a week in strike pay.

Thelen: "A lot of people are hurting, some are hurting more than others. I am the only one that works right now because my wife lost her job a year and a half ago."

So Thelen and his wife decided to go through their home finding anything they don't want or need. It's all now on sale lined up on tables. Everything from his daughter's board games to his car parts, ranging in price from 25 cents to a $100.

Thelen: "You don't want to sell it so cheap, but we need the money so we got to price it to sell."

Selling memories at a bargain because he worries about what the future holds if he can't pay his bills.

Thelen: "Don't really want to ruin credit by losing our car, truck. We have to make our house payment first because you have to have some place to live."

Thelen says if the strike continues, he may have to do a yard sale all over again.

Thelen: "Clean up more stuff. Other than that, we don't know."

Tough choices some workers are being forced to make with the picket line cutting into their bottom line. The yard sale will continue Friday and Saturday at the couple's home on Ferrol Avenue in Lansing.

(wlns.com)

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