LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The United Auto Workers announced protests against General Motors after their contract expired Saturday night and a new agreement was not reached.
UAW Local 1112 Shop Manager Dan Morgan arrived at the union hall around 7 p.m. on Sunday. He was previously in Detroit to hear if any agreements were made with General Motors. Now, their next step is to strike.
“Once it was explained to us that they don’t even have a proposal to show us, they don’t have a tentative agreement, management really didn’t slide anything across the table to actually go over with us, it was pretty easy and unanimous,” Morgan said.
Some of the negotiations were around healthcare, getting temporary employees to a permanent job faster, wages and profit sharing.
Morgan said only 2% of what the union wants to see changed was tentatively agreed on. He said the UAW was ready to strike.
“There was minimal discussion. It was 100% unanimous when they asked to make the motion to strike the company at all GM facilities,” Morgan said.
Now, members of Local 1112 plan to protest at every entrance of the GM Lordstown plant.
President of the Local UAW 1112 Tim O’Hara said members of the United Auto Workers will begin protesting at the plant on Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
This will continue every day with four to six-hour shifts until a tentative agreement is made.
Unlike most of the protests, this one will be in front of an inactive plant.
“We’re doing it out of solidarity for all of our brothers and sisters that are out there. We have problems in Lordstown with the company, but there’s multiple problems that affect us down the road,” Morgan said. “We need to show that, ‘Hey, this is a nationwide strike.”‘
In their response to the strike, GM said they “presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways.”
They also said they are disappointed that UAW leadership chose to strike.
With over 400 local members, retirees and other unions, Local 1112 will have a mass number of supporters. Morgan said they are still accepting more.
“If someone wants to come out and help us, we’re more than happy to have them,” Morgan said.
O’Hara also spoke out about how long the strike is expected to last.
“Based on what they told us about how negotiations have been preceding, I would expect that it could possibly, and I use the word possibly because we don’t know for sure yet, it could end up being a lengthy strike,” O’Hara said.