UAW-GM strike hits day 13

Saturday marks 13th day of ongoing strike

DETROIT – Negotiations between the United Automobile Workers and General Motors have continued to heat up.

As day 13 came to a close, striking UAW workers are now two days away from getting $250 a week in strike pay.

"Things add up fast," said Jim Bates, Local 909. "$250 will help, but not a lot."

Bates is one of nearly 50,000 workers currently on strike.

"When you got no money, you can't pay your bills," Bates said. "We saved up as much as we could, but still."

Talks between GM and the UAW have extended later into the evening and some believe that may be a sign of progress. Qualifying for strike pay may be another factor putting pressure on both sides to reach a deal. 

"It's kind of uncharted territory," Bates said. "I've been with the company a long time and this is the longest we've been laid off."

Bates said he has worked at GM for nearly 40 years. Just after Labor Day, his job was moved to Bay City. 

The UAW said workers are striking to secure fair wages, affordable health care, their share of profits, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temp workers.

"I don't feel like they're giving up on us," Bates said. "The last few contracts were questionable. I think they're finally going to be strong for us."

Negotiations are expected to resume at 9 a.m. Sunday.