NORTH TEXAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) - For days, the United Auto Workers union members who work at the Chrysler-Mopar parts distribution center in Carrollton have watched in solidarity as their UAW brothers and sisters across the country hit the picket lines.
"They kind of have been very stubborn about giving us what we rightfully deserve so I knew eventually it was going to come around to us," said Mike Owens, who works at the center.
So when the UAW expanded their strike to 38 General Motors and Stellantis parts and distribution centers in 20 states including this one in Carrollton and a GM distribution center in Roanoke these workers were prepared.
"I was ready, I was like let's go," said Owens. "It's been too long, we've been here seven years, we ain't got nothing and we ain't asking for the moon and the stars we just asking for what we deserve."
The UAW is negotiating contracts with the big three automakers, GM, Stellantis, Chrysler's parent company, and Ford. They're asking for a 36% pay increase over a 4-year contract, more paid time off, and the end of wage tiers among other demands.
Here in Carrollton, the workers say their pay hasn't caught up with inflation and the rising cost of living.
"A lot of the people out here they have to work overtime to get by, you have to actually work 6 to 7 days a week to actually get by a lot of us don't get to see our families because we're working so much and a lot of us can't even afford to buy the cars that we make," said Owens.
Melissa King has worked here for 12 years. Her husband works here too and her mom retired after working here for 27 years.
"We just want some sort of promise of security and investment into a company that we put our lives into," said King.
The UAW announced on Saturday that they had made progress in negotiations with Ford so for now the strike will not expand against Ford.
"It's a scary thing to walk away from your job with all the unknowns and a drastic pay cut but we're doing it as a unit and I know that our brothers and sisters around the United States are standing with us strong," said King.
CBS News Texas reached out to Stellantis for comment but has not yet heard back.
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