Nearly 99 percent of workers at the Dundee engine factory in Michigan voted in favor of authorizing a strike, according to members of United Auto Workers Local 723, which represents them.
The authorization does not mean there will be a strike but does empower the plant’s union leadership to call one should it be necessary.
“It’s a precautionary thing,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “It’s just in case we need it.”
Talks between the automaker Chrysler and the union have not yet begun, but union members are reportedly concerned regarding proposed scheduling changes geared at saving the OEM overtime expenses. Under the new proposals, workers would be required to work days on one week, then swap to nights the next.
The automaker said it will not comment yet on the upcoming negotiations or the strike vote that was not expected somehow.
According to the Detroit News, the same schedule already has workers at Chrysler’s nearby Trenton Engine Complex up in arms, and employees there are watching developments in Dundee closely.
“We are ready to do whatever they need us to do to help,” said Cathy Smith, who works at the Trenton engine factory.
“That includes walking their picket line.”
Some workers at Trenton have filed health and safety complaints with the company.
“Shift rotation causing excessive unsafe acts, conditions and near misses,” wrote Robert Rea in a complaint dated March 10, a copy of which was obtained by The News.
“Also increased medical visits and deteriorated general health of team members.”