UAW strike continues, affects UP dealerships

The United Auto Workers union strike at General Motors continues. (MGN Image)

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - It’s the fourth week of the United Auto Workers union strike at General Motors that started at midnight on September 16.

Workers are continuing to strike for better pay levels and profit sharing formulas. They are also demanding changes to the use of temporary workers, bringing jobs back from Mexico, and the union's demand that GM keep open plants that have been scheduled for closure.

The tension grows in the longest running UAW strike since 1985, affecting dealerships everywhere, including Marthaler, a multi-line GM dealership in Marquette.

"It's a little scary. Parts are trickling in at best. Lots of our special order parts are on hold so I'm hoping this get settled quickly,” said Marthaler Salesman, David Heard.

With no real end in sight for the strike, customers and dealerships can expect to wait on the shipment of parts.

"Normally it takes one to two days to get a part here. Now, sometimes it takes a week or more to get the parts here, depending on where we sourced them form,” said Rex Rule, Marthaler Service Director.

The biggest fear for Marthaler is that it won't be able to source parts from other dealers because nobody will be able to get the parts.

"It's creating some obstacles. We may have to hunt from them, get them from another dealer,” explained Hear. “We're doing everything we can to keep things running smoothly. We really need to see an end to the strike.”

Fortunately, new cars are continuing to be processed as normal, for now.

"Talking to the truck drivers, they say there are thousands and thousands of cars in the yards, so they are still bringing them. We've got a full lot. But if it goes on, we’ll definitely feel a crunch if it doesn’t get settled. But, the U.P. as a whole is a very strong union area so, of course we want to support the unions and hope the end is close,” said Heard.

Marthaler is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month this by donating $5, up to $5,000, for each pink ribbon signed to U.P. Health System-Marquette and Pink Power. All are encouraged to stop by Marthaler and sign a ribbon with their name or the name of someone affected by breast cancer.

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