Looking back at the UAW strike in 2019

UAW Local 14 went on strike in 2019.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:32 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s been four years since the UAW went on strike, and 13 Action News took a look at how things were for GM employees during the 40-day strike in 2019. One GM worker said when she was walking the picket line, other unions gave her the same support that she’s giving Jeep workers today.

As Local 12 members continue to stand their ground on the picket lines at Toledo’s Jeep plant, members of Local 14 are remembering that feeling.

“That time in 2019 was a time when we came together in solidarity,” said Jamele Walker, a member of UAW Local 14. “And also being union members, we came together and had a voice in the community and that’s what really moved us all. The community involvement and people coming out to support us and getting to let people know our struggles and what we’re fighting for.”

Jamele Walker told 13 Action News that seeing the support for Local 12 makes her emotional because she understands what it’s like.

“These products and services are union made products. We make these with our hands, we spend up to 12 hours a day. So when we go and see other people out on the line, we have walked in their shoes and we understand their struggle.” said Walker.

Walker says there were days Local 14 members didn’t know how long they’d be on the picket lines. Even with not knowing, it was something she felt she had to do.

“I know that our leadership has our best interest at hand and they have insured us that no matter what goes on they will take care of us. That’s what it’s all about: solidarity and trusting in our leadership to have our best interest at hand, and I have 100% confidence that they will do the same like they did in 2019 for us for the people over at Jeep.” said Walker.

UAW Local 14 members continue working under expired contracts and are ready for whatever happens next. Members are hopeful for a new contract, but prepared to strike too if it comes to that.

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