Local barbershop offering free haircuts to UAW strikers

Buffalo Barber Surgeons aim to help workers facing tough times

Mike Baggerman
October 13, 2019 - 3:00 am

UAW Workers strike at the Tonawanda Engine Plant. September 16, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


HAMBURG, N.Y. (WBEN) – A local barbershop is lending a helping hand for United Auto Workers who have fallen on tough times as a result of the ongoing dispute between General Motors and the UAW.

Buffalo Barber Surgeons, a local shop with locations in Lackawanna and Hamburg, are planning to utilize the space at their location at 39 Long Avenue in Hamburg on Monday to assist the hundreds of workers who have seen their pay cut substantially as a result of the strike that has lasted a month.

“We know it’s tough times,” owner Joel Ech said. “The least we could do is give them a free haircut.”

In addition to providing free haircuts to local UAW workers, Ech said their event on Monday, which runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. will also include free food and music for those employees.

“I know what it’s like to struggle and I know what it’s like to go through tough times,” he said. “As a barber, I’m blessed. If it’s something I can do for my community, why not?”

Specifically, Ech compared the tough-times that UAW strikers are going through with becoming a barber, which included times where he was struggling so much financially his power was cut off and had to rely on cheap food to get by.

Ech, along with fellow shop barbers Aaron and Lee Anne, are partnering with other shops in the area to provide the cuts.

Joel Echs (right) with Aaron (center) and Lee Anne (left) at Buffalo Barber Surgeons in Hamburg. October 11, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

At the time we spoke with Ech, he only talked to one person he knew. However, he said he’s promoting the event using Facebook and hopes that word of mouth can help organize the event.

“We’re here for them,” he said. “We’re here, hopefully this Monday we can take care of a lot of people. If not, and it’s still going on, we’ll do another one.”

More information about the event can be found HERE


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