Workers strike, reach deal at Saline auto parts plant
About 1,900 workers went on strike at the Faurecia interior parts plant in Saline at 12:05am. This strike comes after previous contract between the UAW local 892 union and Faurecia expired. Negotiators failed to reach an agreement before the deadline of 12:01am.
Workers at the plant in Saline build interior parts such as interior panels and center consoles for Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, and Tesla.
Workers at the picket line are calling for progressive wages, better benefits, and fair treatment from Faurecia.
Kimberly Smith-Bass is a bargaining representative for UAW local 892. She says Faurecia’s treatment of employees reflects poorly on the company.
“We have experienced a lot of things with the company being predatory, and doing some things that really, they shouldn’t because we’re a UAW facility," Smith-Bass said. "[We are] the biggest IPS plant in the world. So when you say that, that should bring a lot of dignity and respect to the company itself. However, we have not experienced that.”
Smith-Bass says establishing respect played a big role in the negotiations.
“During these contract negotiations, we always negotiate benefits, insurance, wages, but we also wanted to have another dynamic, a dynamic that brought us together with a mutual respect, because you can have all the money in the world, you can be the biggest IPS plant, but if your turnover is 1800 people in a year, that’s big, and we need to change that,” she said.
The union and the company reached a tentative agreement this morning.
Smith-Bass credits the members of UAW local 892 for their dedication and help throughout the strike and negotiations.
“Last night when we lead people out of the building, they were there, even though they knew that they would miss pay wages, they would miss their earnings," Smith-Bass said. "And a lot of our membership, they live paycheck to paycheck, so that was very important and it was a sacrifice for them to walk out and show solidarity with us.”
Misty Matthews of Faurecia USA confirmed that Faurecia had reached an agreement with the union. The members of UAW local 892 have yet to vote the agreement in.