UAW at Kansas plant authorizes strike against GM (Tiffany)

DETROIT — Workers at a General Motors assembly plant in Kansas have voted to authorize a strike.

UAW Local 31 President George Ruiz said 90 percent of members who voted were in favor of authorizing a strike while 10 percent were opposed in voting that took place Thursday.

A strike authorization vote is often taken to give the union more leverage in its negotiations with an automaker.

Last week the 3,400 hourly workers at GM’s FairfaxAssembly Plant, which produces the Chevrolet Malibu and the Buick LaCrosse, rejected a proposed local contract.

Ruiz said contract talks between the UAW and GM to revise that proposal are scheduled to resume Monday.

Workers at the Fairfax plant are concerned about proposed changes to seniority rights.

A summary of the proposed agreement that workers rejected says the UAW began contract talks at the plant with a set of 250 demands submitted by the members.

“Along with the UAW demands, management presented over 50 initiatives that launched attacks on our seniority rights, transfer provisions, wages and numerous hard-fought issues that we had successfully negotiated over the years,” John Melton, chairman of UAW Local 31, says in a letter to members included in the proposed contract.

The Fairfax plant is a crucial plant for GM, especially this year.

The first 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, with the company’s fuel-saving start-stop technology, was shipped from the plant last Thursday. The 2013 Malibu is one of GM’s most important new cars this year.

The Malibu was GM’s second-best selling car in 2011, and LaCrosse was the top-selling vehicle for the Buick brand. The Malibu also is produced at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-uaw-at-kansas-plant-authorizes-strike-against-gm-20120127,0,4997311.story

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This blog and its accompanying Twitter account have been established as social media learning tools for the Internal Communications and Employee Engagement class at Columbia College Chicago. Through this blog, we will share our observations about current events, change management and employee communications theory, and the application of social media in shaping employee engagement.
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