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UAW prepares Fort Wayne Assembly workers for strike

ROANOKE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Leadership with the union representing thousands of area auto workers has released a “strike schedule” and information on member assistance in advance of a possible walkout this weekend.

Through its website and other means, United Autoworkers Local 2209 is preparing workers for the strike that could follow the expiration of the current bargaining agreement with General Motors Saturday night.

The UAW deals with GM, Fort and Fiat Chrysler run concurrently, but the union has named GM its “target” company, which means the focus of any strike action would land there first.

Locally, General Motors operates the Fort Wayne Assembly, which turns out certain models of the popular Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup truck.

Employment at the plant is about 3,900 people, according to Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.

GM describes the facility as “one of North America’s most productive assembly plants.” The company says more than 1,000 vehicles are assembled daily.

In May, GM CEO Mary Barra was at the plant to announce a $24 million investment in upgrades to be completed over the summer.

At the time, she noted the “significant jobs” added at the facility in recent years and said, “we are just getting started.”

Reports suggest that the union and the company remained far apart on key issues, including pay raises and future of several plants that GM intends to shut down.

In 2015 — when the previous labor contract expired — negotiations lasted until the final moments of that contract term, with a last-minute agreement averting a strike.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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