UAW-Chrysler workers pass strike authorization vote

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

UAW-Chrysler Department Vice President Norwood Jewell on Friday said the union’s locals had passed strike authorization votes at an overwhelming 97 percent as the union and Auburn Hills-based automaker continue contract negotiations.

Strike authorization votes are procedural measures taken by union members at all three automakers. Each year, the votes pass with an overwhelming margin and allow the union to call for a strike if they determine the automakers have not bargained in good faith. This is the first year since 2007 that the union can call a strike against Fiat Chrysler or GM.

Votes at the GM locals were expected to wrap up this week, but no totals were available. Ford’s votes were expected to continue into next week.

In a two-page update to UAW members, Jewell said the union had been working “tirelessly” to push their demands to the automaker.

“Our team has done a great job of scouring through our current collective bargaining agreements,” he wrote. “To date, there has been hundreds of carry over language identified and tentatively agreed to.”

In a similar memo sent to UAW-GM members last Friday, Vice President Cindy Estrada said the union was “beginning to work longer days in pursuit of the best possible outcome for each demand.”

Unions presented their demands to the automakers last week. The two sides in the coming weeks will hammer out a contract that will touch on pay, health care, product allocations and a number of other issues.

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