ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — About 13,000 auto workers in Missouri, Michigan, and Ohio have gone on strike after the United Auto Workers’ contract expired at midnight, with the local union chapter saying they are not on strike yet, but are prepared to do so.

More than 700 members of the local union are among those who had a list of demands they say the car manufacturers would not meet.

Among them are higher wages, updated and improved benefits, healthcare, and more.

Union leaders say the strike will occur in waves, adding it won’t be the entire corporation all at once. However, they say more plants will be added to the strike line as the heat builds.

Friday marks the first time in history GM employees locally would be working under an expired contract. Montina Scott oversees employee relations at the GM plant on Lexington Avenue in Rochester.

Her mission, she says, is to support workers in the midst of uncertainty.

“A lot of their concerns are, if we do strike, how they are going to make ends meet and if they will get paid enough where they can continue to pay bills. It’s my responsibility to make sure they have all the resources they need, and try to give the confirmation and understanding that it’s going to be alright. As long as we stick together as one, we’ll come out of it okay,” said Scott.

As more people join in, the distribution of resources may decline overtime, and for auto shop owners like Paul Marone — that can mean a longer wait time for his customers.

“We could see this as early as next week, parts for cars come now overnight,” Marone says. “It does have a trickle down effect where we can’t get particular parts and everything is just in time the way they do things now — a lot of the dealers don’t stock some of the parts we have.”

On Thursday, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra shared a statement saying in part:

“We have been bargaining in good faith to deliver a better package with historic wage increases and manufacturing commitments — past, present, and future. It addresses what you’ve told us is most important to you, in spite of the heated rhetoric from UAW leadership.”

Union leaders who represent the 700 workers in Rochester say many of the issues they were fighting began during the pandemic.

“We were part of the essential workforce,” Dan Maloney, President of UAW Local 1097 says, “So, we’re putting our members at risk and there was no reward. They had, the executives and CEOs, had no risk and a lot of the reward.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.