A badge was given to some Leadec Industrial Services employees at General Motors Spring Hill Manufacturing in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Leadec workers have been told to cross the fence line if GM workers strike per hour. (Photo: Leadec Industrial Services employee)
A local UAW leader has asked janitors at General Motors' production facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee, to cross the picket line if GM workers strike there every hour.
Leadec Industrial Services workers are caught in the middle as the clock turns to midnight Saturday deadline for GM and UAW to reach a preliminary agreement on a new contract.
If UAW fails to reach an agreement with GM by the deadline, the union may request an extension of the current contract and continue to negotiate or order a strike against GM.
More: UAW contracts for GM – janitorial workers to expire; strike can stop car production
GM has hired Leadec to do its caretaking, basic storage and household services at Spring Hill, Tennessee. UAW Local 1853 represents both GM and Leadec workers.
A Leadec worker in Spring Hill told Free Press that during a town hall meeting Tuesday, local UAW leaders told Leadec workers, "In the event of a strike, General Motors requires us to cross the fence line of our union brothers and sisters and come in and jobs. Any other merged company at the Spring Hill production plant will receive a layoff, but we will be required to cross over and work. "
GM spokesman David Barnas said the company expects that," In the event of a work break from the UAW-GM department at some of our facilities, employees not covered by the UAW-GM Master Agreement will come to work unless otherwise notified. "
Other amalgamates operating at the Spring Hill facility include Ryder Logistics Management, which draws parts around the facility, Magna seating and Adient seating, and American Food & Vending, which provides canteen food and vending machines.
UAW spokesman Br ian Rothenberg said he was unfamiliar with Tennessee's policy on layoffs, noting that it is different for each state.
Rothenberg said: "At this point, however, the UAW continues to negotiate, and should a strike occur, International will decide on issues such as strike pay. However, remember, negotiations continue at this time."  On Thursday, the UAW venue issued marks on a lanyard to at least 30 Leadec workers on its first shift, said a worker who picked one up for Free Press. The marks provide safe passage over the pickle line, said this worker.
"We have been told to keep it up when we pass the pickets and they will not bother us," the worker said. "I will probably be home for the first few days to see how things are going. Our contract says we can sympathize without disciplinary treatment, but no pay, either."
This worker said that UAW told Leadec employees that they have until September 17 to retrieve the marks. Leadec employees are all full-time and earn the most $ 15 an hour, this worker said.
UAW International did not release the safety tags, Rothenberg said. He directed the Free Press to Local 1853. Both a call and an email commenting on local President Tim Stannard were not returned.
The Leadec contract with UAW stated that the union recognizes the importance of providing GM uninterrupted work. It says that during the contract period no employees will participate in a strike or sympathize with a strike. But the language also allows workers to honor a fence line.
"There are no ripples if people honor the picket," Rothenberg said.
About 3,300 UAW members work at this facility, where GM builds some of its popular SUVs, and the engines for them as well. Products include:
- Cadillac XT5, XT6 SUVs
- GMC Acadia SUV
- 6.2-liter V8 engine powering the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade SUVs.  Cadillac 2.0-liter T, 2020 GMC Acadia SUV 2.0-liter T and Chevrolet and GMC 2.7.
If a strike is called, 99% of UAW Local 1853 members voted to authorize the UAW to call one. Nationwide, 96% of UAW members authorized a strike.
The Columbia Daily Herald reported that UAW and GM's Spring Hill plant managers turned heads in August over forced overtime. GM is in the midst of launching the Cadillac XT6 SUV and said it could ask workers to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week according to the current agreement.
Earlier this week, the UAW contractor Aramark announced that it is finalizing a contract extension at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, the same time the union contract with the Detroit Three expires. Aramark provides caretaker services at five GM plants.
This may be important because if the union encourages some Aramark janitorial workers to strike, it may interfere with the operation of the facilities. For one thing, GM car workers would not cross a bar. Also, these workers are doing jobs that are key to keeping the plants operating, said a UAW member familiar with the role of Aramark workers.
GM has a contract with Aramark to manage service jobs at: GM Metal Center Parma in Cleveland, Flint Assembly, Flint Engine Operations, Flint Metal Center and Technical Center in Warren.
Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313- 222-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow her on Twitter @ jlareauan . Read more on General Motors and sign up for our car newsletter .
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