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Lockport community showing support for striking General Motors employees

Thursday was day 25 of the strike
Posted at 11:33 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 23:33:18-04

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — Call and response chants of "We are! UAW!" by striking General Motors employees were met with honks of solidarity from the cars driving by, at a march outside the General Motors Lockport plant Thursday evening.

It was day 25 of the strike.

Jim Lakeman, an International Rep. for UAW said the strike has affected the workers personal lives, picketing up to 16 hours a week to earn a $250 paycheck. He said, however, that they were ready for this and feel supported by the community.

"I think workers throughout the country right now with the economy the way it is they're looking for the same thing, so what we're standing out here for I think everyone is really thinking that," Lakeman said.

Other businesses in Lockport said they have been affected by the strike, but not in the way one might think.

"We've definitely been seeing more faces, more new faces around," said Kathryn Simon, an employee at Carson's Deli and Bakery, which is just down the road from the plant.

Simon said the deli has always had steady business being next to GM, but ever since the strike it's seen a big bump.

"Other non-strikers coming in to buy goodies and stuff to help support them while they're walking for six hours at a time," she said.

The GM CEO met with top union leadership on Wednesday for the first time since the strike began. A GM Spokesperson tells 7 Eyewitness News that the two negotiating sides are trading good proposals across the table, and added that GM is committed to working towards a stronger future.

While striking employees wait for a new contract to be reached they know their community is resonating with what they're fighting for.