If you haven’t noticed in the last year, a number of U.S. industries have or are currently experiencing worker strikes going into January 2024. Between last summer’s Writers’ Guild of America strike, United Auto Workers’ (UAW) strike, and the current DHL Express workers’ strike at Cincinnati air cargo hub, workers and their unions are taking some hard blows to their income and ability to sustain their families by going toe-to-toe with their employers for what they believe they deserve.
Take the UAW strike, for instance. The idea that those striking workers could survive on just $500 a week in strike pay – only $12.50 an hour for a 40-hour work week – requires planning and proven financial health options in case the strike gets longer (and uglier) than the organizers predicted.
5 ways striking workers can save on their finances
Striking workers certainly have enough to deal with when they decide to go on strike. But they also have to know in all likelihood their union’s strike fund won’t be enough to get by, especially if workers have a family and mortgage to think about. Saving every way they can may be the difference in surviving these tough times.
With help from NerdWallet, we’ve listed six tips for saving that striking workers can take to lighten the load during the course of a strike.
- Consider a dependable small-dollar loan from a credit union
Credit unions’ original purpose, their very reason for being, was to service their community through small-dollar loan products. One of the core benefits of this product is buying time for families to get their heads above water and consider next steps. In addition, repayment of their small-dollar loan directly assists members in rebuilding their good credit.
From coast to coast, QCash’s digital Financial First Responder and emergency loans can make a huge difference in the financial relief efforts of families like striking auto workers or delivery employees who need immediate funds in order to make it from where they are to where they want to be.
- Lean out by cutting non-essential expenses
Obvious, yes. Difficult to do, ALSO yes. Necessary in the event of tight finances during a union strike? Absolutely.
Members need to consider cutting various subscriptions, streaming services, memberships, and any other expenses that are not necessary for their family’s immediate needs. It’s one thing to keep a small indulgence or two to maintain sanity, but they have to remember this is a time to conserve, not spend.
- Balancing multiple bills at once
If striking workers are having trouble juggling their core household bills like utilities, it may be as simple as contacting the company’s customer service line. It’s entirely possible they can negotiate an adjusted payment plan or reorganize what they owe.
- Look for community help or resources
If financially-stressed workers are out of options with their union save for strike pay, they could spend some time checking out resources in their local communities that may serve in keeping them above water. Some community organizations and nonprofits specialize in helping residents with bills or putting people in contact with food and mental health services. NerdWallet offers a good place to start at 211.org.
- Get resourceful on ways to get paid
Do your members have any possessions of value to sell that they don’t need? Maybe they could pick up a seasonal job for the time being that not only brings in some much-needed funds but positive mental purpose. Picketing is an important activity for striking workers, but making some extra cash can be the difference between success and failure.
If your credit union is interested in finding out more about QCash small-dollar loan products, we invite you to go to our Request a Demo page to see how our digital small-dollar loan product works. If you would like to speak with one of our customer service professionals, go to our Contact Page and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.