Nearly 50,000 General Motors employees with United Auto Workers went on strike Sunday morning when the 2015 collective bargaining agreement expired. The union is asking for the Detroit auto manufacturer to recognize everything their members have done and sacrificed to make a "healthy, profitable" automotive industry.
Last year, GM announced that the Detroit-Hamtramck plant would close in January 2020. This came after the plant was expected to close sometime in 2019. The fate of this plant was originally announced along with the closures of three assembly plants and two other plants in the United States and Canada.
UAW strives to preserve fair wages, affordable health care, profit sharing and job security, among other things. UAW organizers assign six-hour shifts that cover each entrance to the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, and the shifts run 24 hours a day. This series of portraits will explain why some members joined the poor lines on day 2 and 3 of the labor conflict.
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Elaine Cromie is an independent visual journalist and documentary photographer based in Detroit.