UAW goes out on strike v. Johnson Controls

Replacement workers may cross picket line

Workers for a company that builds seats and consoles for the new crossover utility vehicle that will be built at General Motors Corp.’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant have gone on strike. The United Auto Workers union called the strike, which may threaten to delay the Sept. 2 startup production of the Chevrolet Traverse.

Michael O’Rourke, president of UAW Local 1853 in Spring Hill, said the union initiated the strike on Wednesday after GM supplier Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. refused to recognize it as the exclusive bargaining agent for the 172 workers at the plant.

After the union told Johnson Controls on Tuesday of plans to call the strike, the company called workers to a meeting and handed out a letter warning them that they would be subject to replacement if they did strike.

JCI Plant Manager Robert E. Steckler told The Tennessean he had no comment about the strike, and GM officials were not available to comment on how the strike might affect the start of Traverse production.


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