UAW members in Ohio aren’t warming up to General Motors‘ proposal, according to ABC’s affiliate in Bowling Green, Kentucky, WBKO.
The publication spoke to Barry Brown, a former union-represented worker at GM’s now-closed Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio, who said the deal still did not provide a clear pathway to employment for temporary workers, as it required them to have uninterrupted work with the automaker for three years. That means that if they were laid off for a month, for example, the process to be hired on as a full-time worker would restart.
“Even if you’re a temp out there, and you’re looking at this contract and you’re going to get a $4,500 signing bonus—if you look at the fine print, you got to have continuous service to get hired,” Brown told WBKO. “So it could be right up to the last year, and you get laid off for 30 days. You’ve got to start all over again.”
The UAW remains on strike while the ratification vote proceeds. Union members began turning ballots in on Saturday and the results of the vote are expected to be revealed this Friday. It is uncommon for the union to remain on strike while voting on a manufacturer proposal—though it has happened in the past. One automotive industry analyst told Fox News that the union’s decision to remain on strike likely means it is remaining cautious with regards to the proposal and isn’t sure whether union members will vote yes or no.
While the UAW was able to get GM to bend on certain issues such as a path to employment for temporary workers and healthcare, workers are still expressing concern about the closure of Lordstown Assembly and its Warren and Baltimore Transmission plants. If ratified, the deal will see GM allocate electric vehicle production to Detroit-Hamtramck, which was previously set to close in January 2020, but job security at the plant would hinge on the success of GM’s various EV programs. The plant would employ around 2,225 workers and produce about 80,000 vehicles per year when running at full capacity.
GM was forced to suspend production of the Chevrolet Blazer crossover at its plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico last week due to a parts shortage brought on by the ongoing UAW strike. The Chevrolet Equinox remains on production at the automaker’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario—though production of that crossover could be at risk as well should the UAW decide to vote no on the contract proposal this week.