Stuck in Their Ways; Old Habits Hard to Break

By October 10, 2007Labor Unions

Amid the Pavlovian responses, some recognition by striking Chrysler workers that maybe they are not back in the old days. From the Detroit Free Press:

Workers at the Sterling Heights Assembly plant began filing out promptly at 11 a.m.

Employee Richard Buletta said those were the instructions from the union: if they didn’t hear anything different, to just walk out at 11 a.m.

But the 54-year-old Sterling Heights resident, who has worked in the test car division for Chrysler for 35 years, said a strike wasn’t the worker’s first choice.

“Nobody wants this,” he said.

David Shell, a janitor for 39 years at the plant agreed.

“I don’t like going out on strike, but whatever it takes to get a contract for both union and management …”

Shell, 58, of Sterling Heights walked away from the plant as hundreds of workers piled in their cars and left the assembly plant.

The plan is to come back out and picket in shifts on Thursday. The goal is to get better retirement and health care benefits in the new contract.

As they left, employees honked the horns of their cars in solidarity for the walk out.

One man in a van yelled “Strike! Strike! Strike!” as he drove away.

Passerby also honked horns as they passed the plant, seemingly in support of the workers.

Yes, the universal, pro-union honk. It’s one long, two shorts, and then fall silent for a very long time.

Best of luck on a speedy resolution. We attended John Snow’s speech next door at the National Press Club in July, and were impressed with Cerberus Capital Management’s vision for Chrysler.

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