GM strike leaves thousands of outside workers without a job

GM strike leaves some workers without a job

Chicago — The United Auto Worker's strike against GM could enter its third week unless there's a breakthrough this weekend. Nearly 50,000 workers have been on the picket lines, demanding better pay, job security and medical coverage.

But thousands of others are just idle and increasingly desperate. Kristi Hunnicut is just one of those workers who lost their jobs because of the strike at General Motors — a dispute that is not of their making. She's not on strike, but she's been temporarily laid off because she works for a GM parts supplier and right now with GM idled, there's no need to supply those parts. 

Hunnicut and many of her fellow workers at Avancez near Fort Wayne, Indiana, have applied for unemployment benefits, about $265 week. That's far less than her base pay of $600. She told CBS News he doesn't have any savings to fall back on.

Andrea Davis worked at the same parts plant as Hunnicut. She has five kids.

"How am I going to continue to provide for my children? I don't want them to go homeless or without food," Davis said.

As workers tighten their belts, the ripple effect hits local merchants who lose business, the city loses tax dollars and families face tough questions.

"What do we do? There's no money, no help and no answers," Davis said.

As the strike continues, the people caught in the middle are starting to look for new jobs. Not because they want to, but because they have to.

  • Dean Reynolds
    Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.