UAW strike fatigue settling in • Highland Park deal with GLWA • Novi restaurants hit with violations

This week marks five weeks since the start of the UAW standup strike against Detroit's Big Three. And, as the ripple effects spread through the auto industry, some UAW members are saying they're ready to get back to work.

Over the past 34 days, the UAW has called on more than 34,000 members to go on strike. One of those members is Darin Fletch, a 28-year veteran of the Ford Motor Company.

Quite simply, he told us he's tired of being on the picket line at Michigan Assembly in Wayne, which was one of the first union plants to strike.

"Mr. Fain get us back to work! Enough’s enough," Fletcher said. "Morale is down. The first week everybody was gung ho."

But now in week five, times are getting tough.

"I go with the BB King song ‘The Thrill Is Gone’. Nobody wants to do this. We’re all going financially bankrupt. We weren’t even getting a full 40 hours a week since, like, May, and now to be handed $500 a week before taxes?! It’s killing us."

Fletcher says workers are waiting for Ford and Stellantis to put all Electric Vehicle battery production in a UAW agreement similar to what GM pledged to do two weeks ago. But he said he feels Ford has given them a good enough offer he can live with.  

"Like I tell all these young guys – they’re wanting the moon and the stars – take what you can get before you lose what you got," he said.

Experts in the auto industry are saying the strike has prompted a widening shortage of midsize trucks, which were already in short supply when the strike began in mid-September.

"If you’re looking for a Ranger or a Colorado, it may be many months until you can sort of find the one you are looking for because it will take a while to rebuild those inventory levels," Tyson Jominy with JD Power and Associates said. 

"We were just getting ready to launch the 2024 Ranger, and the 2024 Bronco. The 2024 Ranger is sold out for a year and now it’s sitting there empty."

UAW President Shawn Fain has said that they won't back down from their demands from Detroit's Big Three. 

Deal brokered between Highland Park, GLWA

After years disputing unpaid water bills, Highland Park and the Great Lakes Water Authority have reached a tentative agreement that includes infrastructure repairs funded by the state and the release of a $25 million grant for the water authority.

Highland Park City Council unanimously approved the deal brokered by the state of Michigan while the GLWA board must still vote. The deal also includes a revision of the administrative consent order to include settlement terms.

They include the installation of master water and temporary sewer meters in the community, the funding of water main and service line replacements, a $5 million grant for drinking water infrastructure, in addition to the $25 million sewer infrastructure grant.

The deal was obtained by the state agreeing to offset the costs for residents in the GLWA service area through the grant funding. If GLWA agrees, it would dismiss an ongoing lawsuit that includes a $25 million judgment against Highland Park.

Novi restaurants hit with violations

A number of Novi restaurants are fighting to get back in the good graces of the Oakland County Health Department after being hit with a number of violations during an inspection earlier this month.

The Oakland County Health Department hit several restaurants in Novi on 11 Mile and 12 Mile with violations, including Black Rock Restaurant. Jeff Cox, director of operations for Black Rock Corporate, said one violation at his restaurant was a simple misunderstanding. But other problems – like missing floor tiles and grout – are also being addressed.

But Black Rock's neighbors, Bar Louie, were also hit with violations. As was Bone Fish Grill on 11 Mile, Guido’s Pizza Novi, and KPot on 12 Mile. 

At KPot, a manager told us the issues were resolved and they had an exterminator come out to assess a drain fly situation and they've also resolved the hand-washing sink problems.

Here's what Black Rock's owner had to say

4-year-old mauled to death in Detroit

A fatal dog attack in Detroit left a 4-year-old dead after the pit bull got loose and ended up in the boy's backyard. Detroit police say the dog belongs to a close-by neighbor and managed to grab the child and pull him to through a gap in the property's fence.

The tragic incident has left the family heartbroken. 

"My sister is truly distraught right now, at this moment," said the aunt of the victim. "This is a very sad situation. As we know in Detroit, pit bulls (are) a big problem when you don't have them trained properly, or tied up, or put in a gate – secured properly."

Family say the 4-year-old, identified as Lovell Anderson, was "full of life" and was a sweet soul. The family intends to hold someone responsible for the event and are pursuing legal action. No one is in custody as of Wednesday night.

DPD 'Operation Gave' targets illegal riders in Detroit

Police are cracking down on illegal riders in Detroit through Operation Gave. 

Provided by the Department of Homeland Security, Detroit police now have access to helicopters to easily track illegal riders. 

Since 2020, 21 people have died while illegally riding ATVs, minibikes or dirt bikes in Detroit, and another 36 have been critically injured.

DPD Commander Eric Decker says Detroit's streets have become a playground for some, and operations such as Operation Gave are starting to put an end to that.

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Rain is expected by the evening Thursday as commuters make the trip home. More is also likely Friday as temperatures dip and the second-half of fall starts to settle in.

What else we're watching

  1. Ford announced another 150 temporary layoffs due to Kentucky Truck being targeted by the UAW for a strike last week. The layoffs happened at Sterling Axle.
  2. The Red Wings are off to a hot start after dumping six goals on the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday. Alex DeBrincat, an acquisition from the off-season scored two more goals to add to the five he's had this season. The Wings are 3-1.
  3. The Henry Ford Museum will soon unveil its Nelson Mandela exhibit. The former president of South Africa has a special connection to Detroit's own Rev. Wendell Anthony.
  4. Oakland County will be testing its election equipment at is gears up for the first round of early voting. Several communities will case ballots on Nov. 7.
  5. NFL returns Thursday but the Detroit Lions won't be kicking off until Sunday. They're away at Baltimore for one of their tougher games on the schedule. Here's a preview of the game.

Biden to deliver prime-time foreign policy address on Israel, Ukraine wars on Thursday

President Joe Biden will deliver a prime-time foreign policy speech to the nation on Thursday night, White House officials announced in a press release on Wednesday afternoon.

The Oval Office address is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will cover the administration's response and reaction to the deadly Hamas' terrorist attacks against Israel as well as intentions to combat the terrorist organization.

Biden will also address the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and how the U.S. intends to continue its support in both regions.