Area restaurants dependent on auto workers' business worried over pending strike

As the expanding web of labor union negotiations with car companies further entangles officials, local stores also find themselves at the mercy of a potential strike.

Julie Cekaj, who runs Royal BBQ Pizza on Mount Elliot Street in Detroit said workers from two of the big three auto companies provide most of their business in the mornings.

"Pretty much especially the mornings, that would be a mess," she said. "Cause the morning shift is 90 percent GM and Chrysler."

They won't have to worry about Chrysler's workers not coming, for now. But it's possible auto workers with GM won't be going to work next Monday. Their contract with General Motors expires at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night. 

While labor negotiations have always proven tense, there's another layer of complexity that's been piled on by charges of corruption from head UAW officials, including its president Gary Jones, whose office was recently raided by the federal officials.

"So we know there was pay to play. We know the auto makers or some of their team were paying off union officials," said Paul Eisenstein of "Did that affect the settlements in previous contract talks? Certainly a lot of union workers believe that was the case."

Eisenstein describes the negotiations as "3-D" chess.

"A strike? Very possible this time. Inevitable? No," he said. "Maybe the accept a short strike simply because they have to look like they are going to the MET to get the absolute best possible thing."

While the union leadership appears to be under intense scrutiny, GM is stuck between its own rock and hard place. With an impending recession on the horizon and car sales falling, allowing its workers to go on strike wouldn't do anyone any favors.

However, it appears they were ready for a potential strike. The company has beefed up its stock of trucks and SUVs in the event its factories shut down. 

The UAW will provide further insight on its position on Sunday morning or afternoon.