FOX 2 – After five days of the GM-UAW strike, the ripple effect for other businesses is happening.
Analysts say at this point auto suppliers are starting to feel this strike. Even General Motors is laying off thousands of workers between two plants in Ontario for now.
But right here in Hamtramck the mom and pop shops are hurting too after a full work week of GM auto workers on the picket line.
FOX 2: “Has there been a hit to your business?”
“Definitely,” said Julie Chekaj.
Before the strike FOX 2 talked to Chekaj, the owner of Royal BBQ right by the Detroit-Hamtramck Plant. Her worries then, are now reality.
“Probably 90 percent of the morning rush is GM right here and Chrysler,” she said.
The GM plant regulars are out of her to-go line and now on the picket line instead.
FOX 2: “Are you a bit overstaffed right now?”
“Probably, yes,” she said. “But I don’t want to cut their hours.”
Chekaj says they can’t even count on the usual catering orders from the UAW halls.
“We had a bunch of catering already set for the unions and for their meetings and they cancelled them because there is a strike,” she said.
To the customers keeping them afloat the restaurant doing its part.
“We are open late until 12 and 1 (a.m.) so my husband has been taking them food,” Chekaj. “I’m sure they appreciate it; we definitely support their cause.”
Politicians picking up signs Friday – including U-S Senator Gary Peters at the Powertrain Plant in Warren.
“When workers go on strike to stand up for fair wages, they are fighting for the entire middle class,” said Sen. Gary Peters.
He says the UAW is entitled to what they’re fighting for – job security, affordable healthcare and a fair for all workers.
“If folks are going to share in the sacrifice they should also share in the success,” Peters said. “And that is what this strike is all about.”
On Friday, the final pay day from GM for these workers, the UAW now dips into its strike fund – $250 a week, per employee.
“Two hundred-fifty dollars, that’s not enough for a family to live,” Peters said. “It’s a big sacrifice and that’s how you know that they are committed to this.”
In the next two days there will be more politicians who will join the picket lines in Hamtramck – presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren coming Sunday and Bernie Sanders here Wednesday. All weekend, both sides will be at the bargaining table and beyond until they get a tentative agreement reached.