The local United Auto Workers 2164 will vote Tuesday on whether to authorize a strike at the Bowling Green General Motors Assembly Plant.
“There are big issues here,” union President Eldon Renaud said. “I’m kind of surprised that nobody questioned plant manager (Dave Tatman’s) leaving. He retired effectively with no notice. ... Some of the issues we have now stem from the time he was here and from the personnel director.”
Renaud wouldn’t be specific about the issues other than to say they deal with safety and the elimination of certain quality control positions, which the union thinks affects the integrity of the plant’s quality procedures.
“In this day and age, that is what unions have,” Renaud said. “Improving production and quality. That is what we bank on.”
Renaud said the 800 or so union workers have from noon until 6:30 p.m. to cast their ballots.
“The votes won’t be counted until then,” he said.
Renaud expects workers will vote to authorize a strike. But he hopes issues can be resolved without actually going on strike.
“We hope to get the issues cleared up. ... Safety is our major concern,” Renaud said.
Tatman left GM on March 1 with no fanfare, and his replacement was named before most employees knew Tatman was leaving. Jeff Lamarche was named to the post in mid-February, with his official start date at Tatman’s departure.
The plant was closed for more than a year, gearing up and retooling for production of the Stingray that has been on showroom floors since last fall. The plant was closed to public tours during that retooling and for the beginning of the production.
Bowling Green plant spokeswoman Andrea Hales did not return a call seeking comment by press time.