The UAW members who went on strike at General Motors (GM) Monday will get $250 a week in strike benefits from the union's strike fund.
The benefit was increased in March from $200 a week, as union leadership met to prepare for contract negotiations. It takes effect once the strike has gone on for eight days.
Still, that strike benefit is only a fraction of the pay they are losing. Hourly wages under the existing contract come to an average of about $37 an hour for senior employees. And many were getting overtime pay as well.
The strike benefit is the major source of money available for strikers -- they are not eligible to collect state unemployment benefits.
To be eligible for the strike benefits, members needed to be current on union dues before the strike started. They must also be on GM's active payroll at start of the strike, meaning those who are laid off, on workers compensation or receiving sick and accident benefits are not eligible. Members must participate in strike activities, such as assignments on picket lines.