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Kokomo business step up to support striking General Motors workers

Posted at 11:37 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 23:37:42-04

KOKOMO — The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors is about to hit day 10 on Wednesday.

That's 10 days of GM workers not receiving full pay, likely leading to a cutback in spending. That has not stopped several businesses in Kokomo from stepping up and supporting the workers that support them.

As workers fill the picket lines, they are not on the assembly line and not making money. With no end to the strike in sight, each day comes with the stress of uncertainty. That's why the owners of One More Gym in Kokomo are opening their doors to workers in need of a place to unwind.

"You know it's a stressful time for them and you know our gym is supposed to be a stress reliever so in order to relieve a little bit of stress we are freezing there membership dues so they can come in and get rid of some of that stress," Brian Cox said.

Brian and Haley Cox own the One More Gym. They are also union members with jobs at GM's rival, Chrysler.

"I could be on the picket line next few days, next few weeks," Brian Cox said. "Chrysler is going to have its turn in the barrel."

More than a week in the strike, GM's union workers are now eligible for strike pay, a weekly payment of $250. Knowing that cash won't stretch very far, several Kokomo businesses, including Dan Young's Heating and Cooling, Designing Lines Salon and area diner Choo Choo McGoo's, are joining One More Gym and offering discounts for GM employees.

The Coxes said looking out for the community is what a local business is supposed to do. They said it is especially true in Kokomo where the city is driven by automakers.

"You look around, and you see how many GM factories and Chrysler factories there are here," Haley Cox said. "I think we pretty much make up Kokomo."

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