Chrysler’s employees from the Dundee Engine Plant didn’t accept the new local operating agreement, raising concerns about the future of the facility.
The Dundee Engine Plant is Chrysler’s only four-cylinder motor plant in the US and more than 73% of the employees here have voted to reject the new contract.
“I don’t know what happened. I thought we had a good win-win contract,” said Tom Zimmerman, plant chairman for United Auto Workers Local 723, which represents workers at the factory.
Since 2009, when Chrysler emerged from the bankruptcy, no UAW local has rejected a contract. The government-brokered bailout helped the company get back on the track, but also limited the labor union’s right to strike only for health and safety issues only. Chrysler’s employees began to feel disadvantaged when the company introduced the rotating shift schedule which was despised by most veteran employees.
The Dundee plant manufactures engines for the Dodge Dart and Fiat 500, both cars bringing the automaker important profits. Although the company does not expect this situation to have an impact on production, plant managers decided to hold an emergency meeting Thursday morning, to analyze the situation.