Unions across the state are showing solidarity with the United Automobile Workers, joining the picket lines in support, as the strike against General Motors goes into its second week.
Leslie Lizarraga is a teacher in Fort Wayne. She held a UAW sign outside the Fort Wayne Assembly plant Saturday. She says the teachers union came out to show its support for increased wages, an issue Indiana teachers are also pushing for in their profession.
“We all have to be solid together in order to support all of us, not one of us, as a group,” says Leslie Lizarraga.
Union members across the state are seeing the UAW strike against GM as a moment for workers to push for corporations to give back some of the concessions unions gave during the Great Recession.
Leslie’s husband Carlos Lizarraga is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and Teamsters unions. He says the UAW strike is much bigger than one union and company negotiation.
“I truly believe that there is a way that we can all get along, and we all can make a profit, but when greed gets in the way – and that’s their religion, nothing but greed – labor is going to suffer and we’ve just had enough,” says Carlos Lizarraga.
He says going on strike is a last resort for unions.
Last week GM shut down plants across the country, including four facilities in Indiana, after UAW workers walked off the job when their contract expired. Negotiations continue between the union and automaker.
The last time the UAW went on a nationwide strike against GM for this long was in 1970.