Amarillo, TX - The Pantex strike involves 1,200 metal trades workers and a trickle down effect could impact many more families in the Amarillo area.
The workers on strike make up about one percent of Amarillo's workforce and right now they are not receiving a paycheck.
Going on strike to keep benefits was a decision Pantex metal sheets worker Charles Thomas knew would affect his family. "All of our families," said Thomas. "I know I sat down with my family around the table and there are sacrifices that have to be made. There's choices to be made. Do you go out to eat? Do you spend less?"
West Texas A&M economics professor Neil Meredith said choices like that could impact local businesses across the Panhandle. "As they are taking in less income, they are spending less money in the local economy," said Meredith. "Everything from clothing to food to entertainment."
However, Meredith said the trickle down effect won't be noticeable unless the strike carries on. "If it's just a short term strike and lasts maybe a week or maybe two, I would not get overly concerned about it. But as it goes on, say it goes on for a month or more than that, than it becomes a growing concern because the people involved are not going to be working. They are very much going to feel the pain of those lost paychecks."
The last strike that involved Pantex workers in the Metal Trades Council was in 1970 and lasted 26 days.