(BEDFORD) – According to UAW Local 440 President Kevin Hutchinson as of right now no strike is planned at General Motors.
“The UAW is committed to collective bargaining and the best interest of its membership. We want to make sure everyone has a job,” Hutchinson says. “We believe in collective bargaining and as long as that system works and we are making good progress there will not be a strike.”
Their current contract is set to expire Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
There are only three options. Either GM and the UAW agree to a contract; there is a proposed tentative contract agreement with an extension, or workers go on strike.
Union member concerns cover a broad spectrum of issues, says Hutchinson.
“They range from health safety issues, retiree benefits, job security and keeping jobs in America,” added Hutchinson. “We don’t want them to hire temporary workers. We want full-time permanent employees hired.”
If the contract expires without a new one in place, but collective bargaining is working the union can agree on a contract extension.
“There can be an extension of two weeks to up to a month or something like that,” Hutchinson added. “As long as collective bargaining is working and they are making progress there will be no strike.”
Hutchinson and Chairman Chad Millspaugh will fly to Detroit on Saturday.
“We were told to report,” says Hutchinson. “We will not arrive until around 8 p.m. We will be there when the contract expires. If there is no tentative deal or no extension is in place there could be a strike. We won’t know anything until we get there. We will not go on strike immediately. We will be able to share more information when we get back.”
Hutchinson says union members have already voted to go on strike if collective bargaining fails.
“But no one wants that. We are preparing for a strike, but we do that with every contract negotiation,” he added.