Rochester GM workers say they’re prepared for possible strike

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Five women who have worked a combined 85 years at the GM plant in Rochester hit the pavement with hundreds of other workers Tuesday night.

It comes on a day that included a “stern” warning from the head of the United Auto Workers. He’s now threatening to expand the strike against the big three automakers within days.

The strike is now in its fifth day.

Officials with all three companies — GM, Ford, and Stellantis — say they want this resolved quickly.

Tuesday’s rally in Rochester was a show of support for those already on the picket lines in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio.

Rochester workers are not yet striking. But employees, and their families, are prepared.

News10NBC asked several women at the rally how a potential strike would impact them and their families.

Montina Scott says it’s not ideal to go on strike, but they did it in 2019 and are prepared to do it again. She says although many are already struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, they’d rather stand for something than fall for anything.

“The middle class is barely holding on. Some people are one paycheck from being homeless, losing their apartments, losing their cars,” Scott said.

Scott has worked at the GM facility for 24 years. She and a handful of her colleagues are second- and third-generation GM employees.

She says their last raise was minimal, and two years ago. Prior to that, she says they went four years without a raise.

Now they’re raising their voices for higher pay.

If they go on strike, they’ll be getting about $500 roughly a week — but they say it’s a sacrifice they’re willing to make.

Jocelyn James and Lorrie Boswell have worked at GM for 17 years. During the last strike, they received many donations from the community, and are relying on that support again this time around. They say Foodlink and Salvatore’s both helped them last time with food, and people brought things like diapers and formula to them.

How are they planning to survive on $500 a week?

“You know how we’re going to survive, the good God almighty, that’s it. Once you got him you ain’t got to worry about nothing,” Scott said.

The women said the last strike lasted a little more than 40 days, and they’re prepared to do it again even if it lasts longer.