'Scab' Workers Cross Picket Line At GM Warehouse In Ypsilanti

"How do you stop 50 people?"

WWJ News
October 16, 2019 - 11:11 am

YPSILANTI (WWJ) - Union leaders are trying to keep the peace on the picket line outside a General Motors warehouse in Ypsilanti, where managers were sent in to do the work of striking UAW members. 

Union shop chair Bill Bagwell said while he considers it "scab work," he hopes there won't be trouble as they cross the picket line.

"How do you stop 50 people when we've been on strike for four weeks?" Bagwell WWJ's Ron Dewey. "People are hungry, people's families are going without things, and you have a management that everyday tells us that we're one team, and then now they replace us.

"How is that one team? What kind of team is that?" 

Bagwelll said his people are playing it cool, not wanting to do anything that could throw a wrench into the works amid news that a tentative deal has been reached

He said he does not believe that this was a corporate decision. 

"In my opinion, it's our management trying to instill into our membership that they're still in control, even though we are on are strike," Bagwell said. 

"Why would the members of management that we have to work with when we go back to work want to damage the relationship by doing something like this for the very few parts that they're gonna get out the door today? We don't understand that," he said. 

Responding to a request by WWJ for comment on this issue, GM spokesman James Cain wrote in statement: 

"Here’s what I can tell you: We have GM salaried employees moving in and out of all of the company’s plants and facilities across our footprint."

At a meeting planned for Thursday in Detroit, GM local leaders are expected to examine the tentative deal

The national  strike -- which shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states, plus 22 parts-distribution warehouses on Sept. 15 -- was the first by the UAW since a two-day walkout in 2007. 

Striking members who show up to picket are being paid $270 a week in strike pay.