It’s been more than 120 hours since the 80 members of United Auto Workers Local 3039 walked out. The staff the New York parts distribution center for Chrysler in Tappan, in Rockland County, and are the first in the state to go on strike since a nationwide UAW strike started earlier this month.

It’s an important strike for Local 3039 President Jeffrey Purcell and his members.

“Being out here, it means a lot for us," he said. "We're fathers. I'm a single father of three. We have people out here who have kids, have family. We're fighting for the future of our kids and basically, the working class in America.”

So far, at least 38 locations in 20 states have joined the picket line, fighting for several changes.

What You Need To Know

  • The nationwide United Auto Workers strike is about to enter its third week

  • UAW is attempting to complete contracts with the "big three" automobile manufacturers in the U.S., which would increase pay and benefits

  • New York's first plant, a parts distribution center in Tappan, went on stand-up strike this past Friday

UAW's platform includes eliminating wage tiers the union argues separates workers and can water down pay and benefits.

The union wants the reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments, so that pay goes up as the cost of food, housing and utilities does. They’re also trying to secure profit-sharing.

Purcell said workers gave up a lot during the bailouts of 2009, so it’s only fair the workers who make the profits can keep some of it.

“We made sacrifices, they made sacrifices for the betterment of their company," he said. "And now it's time we get our fair share of the profits being made by the company.”

UAW President Shawn Fain says they’re getting closer to a deal with Ford, but remain far apart on agreements with General Motors and Stellantis.

Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, said in a statement, "We look forward to the UAW leadership’s productive engagement so that we can bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that will protect the competitiveness of our Company and our ability to continue providing good jobs."

Purcell says they’ll be out here picketing as long as they’re needed, because the strike is about more than just them.

“We’re fighting for our futures, not just for ourselves but for the whole working class in general," he said.