UAW Votes Strike
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ American Motors Corp. takes seriously a strike authorization vote by union workers at the Jeep Corp., plant, a company official said Tuesday.
Members of United Auto Workers Union Local 12 voted Monday to authorize leaders to call a strike over health and safety issues. No strike date was set. The union must give 72 hours notice before striking.
Ron Conrad, vice chairman of Local 12, said 84 percent of the workers who cast ballots voted in favor of authorizing a strike. More than 2,000 workers voted, but the exact figure was not available, union officials said.
″We hope it sends a message to the company that we want to work out the problems. If they don’t want to work them out, then we’ll give them our three- day notice,″ Conrad said.
Jerry Sloan, spokesman for AMC, Jeep’s parent company, said a strike authorization vote is considered a serious step.
″We very definitely want to sit down with the union and work out our differences. It’s as simple as that,″ Sloan said.
According to terms of the contract, which expires in 1988, the 6,100 workers can strike only over health and safety issues.
Union officials say a strike may occur because workers are almost as angry as they were in April 1985, when employees began sabotaging cars on the production line.
Workers have flooded the company with hundreds of grievances recently and union officials say there are safety problems throughout the plant. But Jeep spokewoman Jan Skunda says that is not true.
AMC has said it will phased out production in Toledo because the union contract is not competitive with those at the top three automakers.