GM worker puts home up for sale to get by during strike

Randilyn Smith put her house up for sale to help make ends meet during the General Motors...
Randilyn Smith put her house up for sale to help make ends meet during the General Motors strike. (WJRT)
Published: Oct. 7, 2019 at 11:23 PM EDT
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(10/7/2019) - The General Motors strike has entered its fourth week.

With both sides still no closer to a deal, Mid-Michigan is stepping up and helping those workers trying to make it through a tough time.

"I've been selling things online to try and to pay Consumers and to get grocery money and gas money to pick her from school every day because she does school of choice," Randilyn Smith said.

Smith, a single mother of three, is doing whatever she can to provide for her family. Smith said she didn't have any way of saving up for a strike as a temporary worker at the Flint Assembly plant -- especially one stretching four weeks.

"I worked as much overtime as I could, 12-hour shifts and every weekend," Smith said.

She's relied on family and friends through these tough times. One friend drove Smith and her daughter for a hot spaghetti dinner put on by the John Gleason Community Fund for UAW members.

Still, Smith has faced a tough decision on $250 a week and a depleting savings account.

"I've actually put my house up for sale. And I thought GM would be the way to provide for my family," Smith said.

This mom isn't the only one feeling the pinch. Monica Gonzalez is a full-time worker at the GM Genuine and ACDelco parts facility in Burton.

With two kids, including a baby, she wants to hurry and get back to work with a fair contact. She said by the end of the month she won't have any savings left.

"I mean for gas driving back and forth and diapers and milk. He gets Lactaid milk," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez's strike pay is spent before it hits her account. She said the last paycheck went straight to her car insurance and the next one is barely going to cover her car payment.

Gonzalez said it hurt when she couldn't provide her daughter a homecoming she wouldn't forget. She said thanks to her daughter's friends, she didn't have to.

"Thank God her friends went in and helped her with her hair and stuff like that," Gonzalez said.

Other families who prepared for the strike say they'll have to start making cuts in their daily lives as the days stretch on.