Front line news flash! Workers remain solid in American Axle strike

DETROIT — More than 3,650 members of the United Auto Workers at American Axle have been on strike in Michigan, Indiana and New York since Feb. 26.

American Axle called back 140 workers March 31 who returned to work just long enough to say they were out on strike and immediately joined the UAW picket lines outside the plant. Workers had to choose between their unemployment checks or going out on strike.

For Amanda Murry, the choice was easy. She said, “I have to show solidarity. You go in there and start working, you’d cut out the others and there’d be no family, you’d have no union, you’d bust the union wide open. The union helps keep our benefits, helps keep our raises, helps keep our wages, period. I’ve got a family and I know a lot of people out there who’ve got families and cannot pay their mortgages or bills.”

UAW Local 235 Vice President Bill Alford said, “No question about it, they were going to join our strike. They understand the cause. They know why we’re here, why we’re out here fighting. We have shut down over 30 GM plants — 3 percent of the gross national product of this country. Our company at American Axle has over 90 suppliers — those people aren’t doing anything right now. Each one of those GM plants has over 90 suppliers, those people aren’t doing anything either. People understand this is the front line. If that guy (CEO Dick Dauch) gets what he wants and he’s making money, where does it end? Where does it stop? Who’s to say who gets the next cut? Next time we may be over at GM helping those guys stay out.

“Look at how vast and far reaching this strike is. We’re getting support from Toledo to California. Trying to all work together and stick together to get through this so we don’t have to fight this fight somewhere else.”