Detroit–“When you call Blue Cross, make sure you ask to speak to a United Auto Workers (UAW) service rep,” one young woman told me as we talked and walked the picket line in downtown Detroit Oct. 2. She said a major demand was to end the outsourcing of their jobs.
Blue Cross workers had walked out two days before UAW President Shawn Fain began calling auto workers off their jobs on Sept. 14. “We have the same demands as they do,” she continued. “We also have the tier system, which began in 2008 when we gave up so much else. And why do we have to work 20-25 years before we reach maximum pay?”
Although car and pedestrian traffic on one of Detroit’s main avenues was way down from past years when more people worked in the surrounding office buildings, passing cars honked their support almost every minute. While I was there, three brothers drove up in an SUV and gave sandwiches and words of support to those on the line.
–Susan Van Gelder