Restaurant sees drop in revenue after manufacturing workers stopped coming in

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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (10/8/2019) - The United Auto Workers strike at General Motors is now in its fourth week.

It's estimated that nearly 75,000 workers from auto parts suppliers are affected by the strike.

Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw County laid off hundreds of employees not long after the strike began. Now one business nearby that depends on those workers is feeling the pinch.

Blu Note is a popular hangout for Nexteer employees that's right across the street from the Buena Vista Township plant.

"We have no traffic," Blu Note bartender Roselinda Teneyuque said.

"Our business throughout the day. Our lunch and happy hour. They are a big part of that," Blu Note owner Rahmaan Kelly said.

Tuesday is dollar taco night, which is usually big business for the restaurant. But on this Tuesday evening, Blu Note is mostly empty.

"Today, we haven't been busy. I remember I worked last Tuesday and it wasn't busy at all. We might have had eight people," Teneyuque said.

Fewer customers means fewer tips for Teneyuque. She has lost close to 70% of her normal amount in tips since Nexteer workers were laid off due to the GM-UAW strike.

"Tips are majority of our money here," Teneyuque said.

With the strike in week four, more than 900 Nexteer employees are laid off. Kelly says overall he's noticed a 20% drop in business.

The owner says he understands these employees need to save their money. He has concern for his revenue as he waits for them to get back to work.

"So, I know how it goes -- the flows of the automotive industry. I just try and encourage them and let them know everyone will land on their feet no matter what happens," Kelly said.