WE HAVE MOVED: Please visit The Union News blog: here.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

UAW strikes Ohio auto-parts supplier

Union workers at Daido Metal in Bellefontaine, Ohio are on strike after their contract with the auto-parts supplier expired Saturday. Allegations flew this week about what led about 175 plant employees to walk off their jobs. Union leaders said the company refused to bargain in good faith. A Daido attorney said United Auto Workers Local 1224 representatives canceled bargaining sessions.

The plant, just off Rt. 68 in Logan County, makes engine bearings for several automakers. The company will continue work at the operation, employing temporary staff and some hourly workers who crossed the picket line, said Ron Mason, Daido's attorney.

The union and the company agreed that industry struggles have heightened the dispute.

The plant supplies foreign and domestic automakers, but domestic sales have declined in recent years, said Bob Fillinger, a bargaining-committee member for the union local.

With those struggles in mind, the union said it is willing to talk about wage concessions.

But the company has refused to provide enough details to work out an agreement, Fillinger said.

"They're not negotiating fairly with us," he said. "We were supposed to pass information back and forth, and the information (the company) gave us was incomplete or not there at all."

The information hasn't been provided because union representatives canceled several scheduled meetings, Mason said.

"The union is the one that walked out," he said. "The union is the one that called a strike. We were prepared to continue operations under the same terms and conditions of employment" of the old agreement until a deal could be reached.

The next bargaining session is set for July 19. Union leaders have set up a strike headquarters near the plant.