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This fall thousands of workers around the Detroit metro area have gone on strike for higher wages, better benefits or more job security. 

Autoworkers are headed back to work after United Automotive Workers (UAW) secured tentative agreements with Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis over the last week. The deals include double-digit wage increases.

More than 5,000 casino, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and other workers are still on strike across the Detroit metro area represented by several different unions. 

We talked to UAW member Mark Brewer about what life was like on the picket line at Ford’s Wayne, Michigan plant. Brewer talked about navigating uncertainty, cold weather and getting by on only strike pay.

“We obviously didn’t think it would last as long as it has started to last, but we were ready, ” Brewer said. “We like to work. We like to provide for our family. But we were ready to do what we had to do for each other.”

Videographer Aaron Martin contributed to this article.

SaMya (she/her) believes in empowering and encouraging minority voices through local journalism because journalism is a service to the community, not vice versa. She loves Campus Martius, especially during holiday time with the bright lights and snow.