Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you’re likely aware of the numerous issues that have plagued the production of the C8 Corvette since its introduction in 2019. Supply chain issues, parts availability, a long-term nationwide flu, and even Mother Nature herself have conspired to keep C8 production numbers down. Now, the local union of those folks who build the sports car is standing up with the threat of a sit-down.
The Chevrolet Corvette plant workers who make up Local 2164 voted on a recent contract last week, where 98-percent of the plant’s production workers and 97-percent of its skilled trades workers gave a thumbs-down vote to an offer from the plant’s management. In a report from the Bowling Green Daily News, workers rejected the offer that didn’t include many of the demands being made by union leadership.
The Daily News reports that among those demands is that the company commit to using UAW members for currently contracted tasks such as 3D printing, maintenance work, and striping. Other concerns centered around sanitation, health, and safety.
Shop chairman for Local 2164 stated, “It’s disappointing that the company doesn’t take into consideration what the hourly workers are asking for in improvements.”
Another issue of contention noted in the report is the outsourcing of work to non-union workers. The union asked Corvette Assembly management and GM to include language in the local contract that would commit the company to, “future products and investments” at the plant and with additional UAW work. Many employees currently working at the plant have been transferred to Bowling Green Assembly as other GM plants have been closed or downsized, so it’s understandable how some sort of guarantee of future employment can be a hot topic.
Watson went on to say in the report the vote by Local 2164 members will have no serious immediate ramifications, also noting that members have already authorized a strike if the issue can’t be resolved. That can only be done after the approval gets approved by the UAW’s Region 8 and the national union brass. Watson further stated that “we’ll continue to have meetings with management on these issues and make some attempt to continue negotiations.” The Corvette plant management is also reportedly willing to continue negotiations.
The Bowling Green Daily News report stated that Local 2164’s agreement with the local plant expired two years ago. It was also stated it is not unique for the Corvette Assembly plant to operate without an active agreement.
Time will tell how this will all play out. GM’s little two-seater is relishing in the limelight, especially with the recent throngs of enthusiasts lining up for the highly-anticipated Z06 variant we’ve been teased with for so long. With the recent scenario possibly affecting current production, we’ll have to see how it affects the next best-Vette-yet.