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UAW votes to strike at GM Orion Plant

UAW Local 5960 voted Wednesday in favor of a strike by workers employed by LINC Logistics, a company that provides third-party labor for General Motors at their Orion Production Facility in Michigan.

General Motors employs six of these third-party suppliers at their Orion Assembly Plant, with LINC Logistics accounting for roughly 125 members working at the facility that will soon begin producing the new Chevrolet Sonic. LINC provides a variety of services inside the plant and the Detroit-based company is owned by the Moroun family – the people who own the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor, Ontatrio.

When the vote was held, 98% of the 88 voting members voted in favor of the authorization of a strike and with this vote, the Local 5960 can give those LINC employees the go ahead to strike if no progress is made in the GM-UAW contract talks within five business days. The work force at the Orion Assembly Plant is comprised of roughly 800 full time union workers, 500 entry level employees and 200 workers employed by these third-party suppliers by LINC so while the 125 LINC employees are a relatively small piece of the puzzle, should they go on strike and setup picket lines, other UAW employees may not be willing to go against their co-workers and cross these lines. This could create a delay in production at the Orion plant but with the Chevrolet Sonic not set to begin production until August, GM believes that a strike will not delay the arrival of their new subcompact.

The goal of the LINC employees and UAW Local 5960 is to force General Motors to move more quickly on developing the new contract for GM’s labor unions. The contract expires this year for all three of the American automakers so it will be interesting to see if a strike by LINC, should it happen, will encourage similar walkouts by UAW members in other plants around the country. In any case, GM really needs to see the “new” Chevy Sonic help their standing in the segment as the Aveo that came before it struggled against the foreign competition. A delay in production of the new Sonic could be an early hang-up that the company doesn’t need to deal with as they continue to climb out of their bailout and government-owned status.

Source: Automotive News

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