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Reactions on the Kalamazoo Mall to the United Auto Workers strike

United Auto Workers members walk a picket line during a strike at the Ford Motor Company Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.
Paul Sancya
/
AP
United Auto Workers members walk a picket line during a strike at the Ford Motor Company Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.

With no tentative contract agreement, automotive workers in the UAW went on strike at midnight on Friday.

Not everyone on the Kalamazoo Mall Friday morning had something to say about the strike. But three people that did want to talk were for it.

Bryan Scott of Portage was walking down the Mall. He believed auto workers had more than earned their claim to higher wages.

“Throughout the COVID pandemic, workers were suffering and many people died and were asked to put their selves aside for the greater good and help the country work through the pandemic,” Scott said. "I think now, especially as corporate profits have risen, and as stock buybacks especially have exponentially risen more than wages, that it's a very fair reaction."

Sally Reynolds works at Petals and Postings.

“It's time," she said. "They gave tremendous concessions when automakers were in trouble. And now they're trying to get some of those back, and I think they should."

Patricia Hirsch owns Petals and Postings.

“I don't blame them. I think that they have a right to be part of the profits that are being made by the auto companies, which are huge in the last 10 years,” Hirsch said. 

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.