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FT. WAYNE, Ind.–The “mighty, mighty union”, as striking workers refer to the United Auto Workers, is planning to provide for Hoosier workers. But, that may be a week away. 

Over 6,500 workers in Indiana are on strike. The GM facilities are in Bedford, Marion, Kokomo and Ft. Wayne, where the majority of the Hoosier GM workers, (4,500) work to make trucks.

“I think by GM pulling the health benefits by the first of next month, I think that signals this is gonna be a longer strike. They would not have risked that amount of ill will if they thought this was gonna be over tomorrow or next week,” said Ball State University Economics Prof. Mike Hicks, on Inside Indiana Business.

The UAW provides a stipend for striking workers of $250 per week before taxes, but that won’t kick in until after day 15.

“The UAW…they’re well off their high of about one and a half million back in the late 70s,” said Hicks, speaking of the union membership. “They lost eight percent back in 2018 at a time when manufacturing employment rose.”

LINK: Inside Indisna Business story

The union is concerned about their workers losing jobs at plants that are closing. None of those plants are in Indiana, said Hicks. He said the Ft. Wayne plant has benefittied from an $80 billion investment by GM.

“That facility’s gonna be safe for a long time. The other places are more nimble, high-productivity, so I think they’re reasonably safe.”

Hicks said GM is asking for flexibility in the negotiations, which they will need if they expand into the hybrid market, which requires different machinery and different workers.

PHOTO: Jeff Kowalsky/Getty Images for CNN Newsource