By a margin of 93.3% in favor, United Auto Workers local 2164 members have voted to authorize a strike at the General Motors plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky that produces the Chevrolet Corvette. As we reported yesterday, the approximately 800 union members voted last night whether to authorize the labor action in response to what union officials described as safety and working condition issues.
Per WBKO, local union president Eldon Renaud claims, “In an unsafe area you might have to go down into a pit or something like that. It’s just the safety procedures that are being followed.” Additionally, the union says that employees are concerned about being overruled on quality control issues. “There’s some management practices going on,” Renaud continues. “Maybe overriding the work of our inspectors saying, ‘Oh I think that one is good enough.’ We have to make sure that that stops. We don’t want management with punches to be able to punch something off that is our work. If we think it’s good enough, then it’s good enough.”
In an official statement, plant management said, “We pride ourselves in working with our UAW Local 2164 partners to achieve success and build award-winning vehicles. We’re confident that we can work together and have a strong track record of creative problem solving. We’ve built a world-class product at the Bowling Green facility for more than 30 years, with the safety of our employees and quality of the car at the forefront of every decision. We are committed to continue that tradition.”
While the vote authorizes the union to call a strike, a work stoppage isn’t inevitable, and no deadline for negotiations has been set.