UAW calls strike against supplier to Ford, FCA, Tesla

June 20, 2019 02:39 PM UPDATED 6 HOURS AGO
UAW calls strike against supplier to Ford, FCA, Tesla
SARAH KOMINEK
PHILIP NUSSEL

The 1.6 million-square-foot parts plant was originally built by Ford Motor Co. in 1966.
SALINE, Mich. — Nearly 2,000 hourly workers at a Faurecia plant in Saline, Mich., launched a strike early Friday as the company’s collective bargaining agreement with UAW Local 892 expired.
Negotiations were continuing into the early hours.
“UAW Local 892 and Faurecia have not reached a tentative agreement as of the expiration of the agreed upon contract extension,” the UAW said in an emailed statement. “As a result, Region 1A Director Chuck Browning has called for strike action against the company effective at 12:05 a.m., June 21 as authorized by International President Gary Jones. Negotiators continue to bargain and updates will be provided as progress is made.”
Pickets were seen in a video posted on Facebook by the local newspaper, The Saline Post, just before 1 a.m.
“Fight for whatever you believe in,” one picketing union worker yelled on the video as car horns blared on Michigan Avenue.
A flurry of activity could be seen at the local union’s headquarters near the plant, as several cars were pulling out of the parking lot just after midnight. Local union officials were not available for comment and nobody answered the phone at Local 892.
There was no immediate comment from a Faurecia spokeswoman.
The plant, which employs 1,900 UAW members, supplies interior parts to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Co. and Tesla Inc., the UAW said.
The 2015 four-year contract was extended for three weeks on June 1 by company and union officials.
“Unfortunately, after many long hours at the bargaining table, we have yet to reach a tentative agreement with the company,” a statement sent to Local 892 members by the UAW said Thursday. The note advised workers to be prepared to walk off the job “in an orderly fashion” and report to the nearby local union hall for further instructions on Friday.
“UAW members are currently meeting with Faurecia with a midnight deadline approaching,” a UAW spokesman told Automotive News in an email on Thursday afternoon. “At this point, there are no plans to continue meeting after the midnight deadline.”
The injection molding plant in Saline makes instrument panels, center consoles and other interior parts.
As of 2015, the plant generated about $1.1 billion in annual sales, according to reports at the time.
“We are in negotiations with our union partners there,” a spokeswoman for Faurecia told Automotive News earlier on Thursday. “Out of respect for the process and our partners we’re not going to comment on anything in the media.”
Many owners
The plant, built by Ford in 1966, covers 1.6 million square feet in the small town south of Ann Arbor, Mich. It later became part of supplier Visteon Corp. when the Ford parts unit spun off from the parent company in 2000. Following years of red ink at Visteon, the plant went through another ownership change before Faurecia acquired it in 2012. Several upgrades took place at the plant in 2015, Automotive News reported at the time.
Under the 2015 contract, starting wages increased from $12 an hour in 2015 to $17.50 in 2018. Top level pay increased from $28 to $32.
Plant workers and their supporters have been complaining about conditions inside the plant on Saline social media sites for several months, but neither the company nor officials at the union local would answer questions from Automotive News on Thursday. According to a source familiar with the conditions, the plant has experienced plumbing issues and needed to bring in portable restrooms at one point earlier this year.
Faurecia, based in Nanterre, France, ranks No. 10 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $19.17 billion in 2017.

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