Spring Hill General Motors workers to strike Sunday night in first national auto strike in more than 10 years


Spring Hill General Motors workers to strike Sunday night in first national auto strike in more than 10 years

PHOTO: The roughly 3,800 workers at the Spring Hill General Motors plant plan to strike Sunday night at midnight. / Photo by Alexander Willis

BY ALEXANDER WILLIS

Following a failed negotiation Sunday morning between the United Automobile Workers (UAW) labor union and General Motors representatives in Detroit, Mich., UAW workers nationwide — including those at the Spring Hill plant — have vowed to strike Sunday night at midnight in a move “to secure fair wages, affordable healthcare,” and other such demands.

Background

On Saturday, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes announced that UAW leadership had decided not to extend its 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement with GM, citing the new contract’s failure to adequately meet wage, health care and job security expectations. In a last-ditch effort, UAW leaders from around the country met with GM in Detroit Sunday morning to see if an agreement could be met. 

Both parties stood firm, with UAW leadership announcing the nationwide strike Sunday morning, which is to go into effect at midnight the same day.

What this means for Spring Hill workers

As members of the UAW, the roughly 3,800 workers at the Spring Hill GM plant will be joining in the strike starting Sunday night at midnight. Known as UAW Local 1853, the Spring Hill chapter of the UAW lists six different strike locations on its website; three at the Spring Hill GM plant itself, and the other three at the Union Hall on Stephen P Yokich Parkway.

Further strike information reads that Spring Hill GM plant workers will receive benefit checks during the strike, with their first one being issued 15 days after the strike begins. Participants in the strike will have duties ranging from picket to kitchen duty, with strikers also being assigned picket captains.

“We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most,” Dittes said in a statement. “Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our Members, their families and the communities where we work and live.”

“We have been clear at the table about what GM members have indicated we will accept,” said National Bargaining Committee Chair Ted Krumm in a statement. “We are standing up for what is right. We as local unions will sacrifice to stand up for what we deserve.”

“Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly. We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable.”

General Motors’ response

Leadership at GM said in a statement that the planned strike was “disappointing,” and that their goal “remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.”

“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight,” GM leadership said in a statement. “We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency.”

Furthermore, GM leadership outlined in its statement that it had offered more than $7 billion in investments and the creation of more than 5,400 jobs over the next four years, as well an “improved profit sharing formula.”

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