Employee at GM supplier affected beyond picket lines

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Even with a tentative deal being reached between United Auto Workers and General Motors, the ripple effect of the strike will continue. The Woodall family moved from Idaho in August for a job opportunity at a GM supplier.

The family of 7 had no idea what they’d face in their short month in the Summit City.

“On my second day of work, actually at the facility is when I got told there might be a strike. And then a week later it was pretty okay, yeah there’s going to be a strike,” says Jesse Woodall.

Woodall works for a GM supplier. He’s been working about one day a week during strike.

“All of sudden it was, “We’re going to force everyone to use their PTO.” And there’s some guys with a lot more PTO than some of us new guys. But they weren’t going off of a seniority list really. It was everybody’s forced.”

Woodall and his wife, Krista, were hoping to use that paid time off during the holidays. Instead, Jesse will most likely be working, or not working and not receiving a pay check.

“It’s been hard moving out here. And with all of this happening all at once, I mean we’re struggling. I mean he’s using that PTO that we wanted to use for our own, you know, maybe going back to Idaho, or having family come here and have that time. And then you know his holiday, so it’s like, “What happens?” You know we have two kids that have birthdays in December, and then also Christmas,” says Krista.

Krista is a stay-at home mom to their 5 kids, including a newborn, which leaves Jesse to be the sole income provider. They say this move to this promising job cost a lot more than they initially thought.

The Woodall’s were also relying on overtime pay on Saturdays.

“We’re dealing with the same hardship that GM and the strikers are, but at the end of it, we didn’t get anything out of it, you know. We go right back to where we were to begin the whole thing. If not, in a worse spot,” says Jesse.

Woodall says he’s unsure what work will be like once the strike is over, but he says many hourly workers quit.

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