At midnight on Friday, United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1166 announced that members working at the Stellantis Kokomo Casting Plant had gone on strike immediately, citing health and safety concerns. Union members say a refusal to repair or replace HVAC systems, address health and safety issues, and provide clean uniforms were the reasons behind the strike.
“Stellantis claims it has no money to meet the basic needs of UAW Local 1166 members while, at the same time, it is making record profits and investing billions in a new battery plant across the street,” UAW Vice President and Director of the Stellantis Department Cindy Estrada said in a press statement over the weekend.
“We have received the same response over and over again that ‘there is no money’ for these things,” the Local President, David Willis wrote in a letter, prior to the strike. “At the same time, Stellantis posted profits of 34% from 2021 and $8 billion in profits. This committee is committed to securing a local agreement.”
“After bargaining in good faith for two days and presenting an offer we believed addressed the union’s concerns, we are disappointed by the UAW’s decision to walk out,” Stellantis spokesperson Jodi Tinson said. “We will look to get back to the table as soon as possible to resume negotiations to reach an agreement on a local contract.
But as of 11:16 p.m. on September 11th, Local 1166 released a statement that a tentative agreement had been reached.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters of UAW Local 1166,
Our Bargaining Committee has been working to secure a Local Contract that meets the demands of the membership. We thank everyone for the solidarity you have shown. We are happy to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement that we believe addresses the issues that are most important to you all.
There will be informal meetings followed by a ratification vote on September 12th, 2022. Due to our being utilized for strike benefits we will hold these meetings at UAW Local 685 in the main hall at 929 E. Hoffer St. Kokomo, In. 46901. Meeting times will be at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The polls will be open at 8 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. If you cannot attend the meeting, we will have highlights and the bargaining committee will be available.
The UAW 1166 Bargaining Committee”
According to Stellantis’ records, 1,213 (1,071 hourly; 142 salaried) employees work at the plant. The 625,000 sq. ft. plant is the world’s largest die cast facility. It produces a number of aluminum automotive components, transmissions, and transaxle cases as well as engine block castings for several Chrysler Group vehicles.
Stay tuned, as we will update this post with the decision from the UAW member vote.