One look around the Thombert plant in Newton, and it’s clear a strike is no picnic.

“I didn’t anticipate it going on much longer than a week or two,” says Jason Wickman, recording secretary for UAW Local 997 and a striking worker at Thombert.

Tuesday marks 50 days on the picket lines for Local 997.

“It’s just completely different from what we’re used to,” says Heather Conrad, a third-shift manager at the plant which makes polyurethane wheels for narrow-aisle lift trucks.

Rather than nine-hour shifts in the plant, they pull four hours on the street. Wearing the grass, and their savings…thin.

“There’s some that are struggling,” Conrad admits. “They have young kids and lots of bills at home and stuff like that.”

News of the national strike seems to have lifted spirits here. Solidarity across industries and state lines.

“Absolutely,” Wickman says. “When I look at their list of proposals, it’s identical. We’re all fighting for the same thing.”

“I like the strategy that they’re using, you know?” says Dennis Carkhauff, a longtime member of Local 997, “not all plants are striking at one time.”

“I have a friend that’s going through that and I stay in contact with her on my Facebook,” Conrad says.

But at the end of the day, the 82 employees here go home wondering ‘how much longer?’

“It’s hard to be optimistic because the company has shown no signs of urgency to get this done,” Carkhauff says.

“We’re trying to help each other out as much as we can,” Wickman says, “because we don’t want people going back in there with no contract.”