Roy Gilbert

‘Strike pay’ kicks in at $250 a week for GM union members as work stoppage hits home

United Auto Workers members on strike picket outside General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant on Sept. 25, 2019 in Detroit. Michael Wayland / CNBC DETROIT – The financial burden of the United Auto Workers’ strike against General Motors is expected to begin weighing more heavily on union members this week. While the work stoppage is estimated to be costing the Detroit automaker up to $100 million a day in lost production, Monday marks the first day union members will receive "strike pay." The payments, up to $250 a week, are in lieu of company paychecks for the roughly 48,000 UAW members who have been on picket lines since Sept. 16. Friday marked the first payday without a check from GM since its union members went on strike two weeks ago. The strike pay is far less than the weekly compensation members usually receive. The starting wage for hourly assembly workers ranges between roughly $16 to $30 an hour, or $640 to $1,200 a week, before taxes and any overtime pay. Strike payments under $600 aren’t taxed, according to the union . They are paid out of the UAW’s "strike fund," which totaled more than $721 million in 2018. Industry analysts expect the increased financial burden on the striking workers, some of whom have been saving months in anticipation for a potential work stoppage, could be a "double-edged sword" for the negotiations. Art Wheaton, a labor expert with the Worker Institute at Cornell University, said striking workers may push or agree […]

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