Union members call community support 'phenomenal' during 40-day strike

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FLINT (WJRT) (10/25/2019) - Even just the sound of a honk made a big difference to the men and women standing on the picket line.

"Basically, you're showing us that our voices are being heard and that we are making a difference," UAW Local 598 member Christina Bradley said.

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She had to move in with her Mom this month, unable to pay her rent on striker pay.

"Emotionally, it's been kind of rocky, you know, the financial situation," she explained. "We're out here trying to make the best of it. I'm not saying every day has been easy, but the power out here and the support we've had has been phenomenal."

Bradley said a free car wash, food and other donations have helped keep their spirits up.

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"It's kind of like, you don't hear the good things anymore about people, just hear the bad, especially about Flint. So, it shows that they're wrong. That there are good people here," Aramark worker Susan Donovan said.

She added she wouldn't have been anywhere else these last 40 days.

"This has helped to establish better working conditions and a better future for our kids and grand kids," Donovan explained.

"It's good to see the support in the community, the outpouring; and they know that this important for them financially, not just for the direct workers, but indirectly," UAW Local 651 member Brian Martin said.

He is still recovering from his recent relocation from the plant in West Chester, Ohio.

"The United Way, a lot of local restaurants, just a number of donations have been given," he said. "We started a food pantry at the Local to help those that are in need. So all of those things have helped us through. And, we've been on each on each other's shoulders and carrying each other through it."

"You bring what you can to your village," UAW Local 598 member Renee Curtis added.

She has been spending what little money she's been making cooking dinner each week for her fellow picketers.

"That's what solidarity's about as well," she said.



 
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