UAW food giveaway brings plenty of people as Nexteer layoffs mount

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The General Motors strike is impacting more than just GM's UAW members.

According to recent estimates, roughly 10-thousand non-GM workers are off the job because of the strike.

That includes hundred of people at Nexteer in Saginaw County.

As the layoffs continue to grow so does the line at a food giveaway.

The line of people leading into the UAW Local 699 hall in Saginaw today was much longer than the one for a similar food giveaway two weeks ago. That's because the number of laid off workers at Nexteer is growing.

"I'm laid, off, laid off working," says Michael Balls.

The Saginaw city councilman was helping with the food giveaway. He's on the board of directors of Wanigas Credit Union, which has been donating money, food and gift cards to laid off Nexteer workers

12 hundred employees have been laid off so far at Nexteer and that number is expected to grow..

Sylvia Vellagos has been laid off from Nexteer pretty much since the strike at GM started. She says the impact to her family hasn't been too bad yet, but she would like to see everyone go back to work soon.

"I am ready for this to be done, my son is actually on strike because he is with GM, it's crazy that my unemployment is more than his strike pay

The strike pay for picketers is 250 dollars a week. Balls says the strike and the layoffs are hurting the Saginaw area, but he supports the work stoppage.

"Its not fair to have temporary workers working with full-time workers for three, four or five years, we don't have temporary bills, why should we have temporary workers," says Balls.

Rob Sebald from Reese has worked for Nexteer for thirteen years. The time off hasn't hurt him yet, and he supports the UAW members who are strike at GM, but the holidays are getting close.

"Eventually we are going back when this over, hopefully it doesn't go until after Christmas, that would be rough," he says.