UPDATE: Here's the official statement on the Bowling Green strike authorization, from Region 8 Director Gary Casteel: "The strike authorization vote at the Corvette plant is over local union issues. A strike authorization vote is simply a vote to get membership approval if a strike is deemed necessary. The strike authorization vote is the first of several steps that have to be taken before a strike can happen."
The current wait time for a new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is well, not short. With word of a strike at the Bowling Green, KY factory responsible for seventh-generation sports car, though, that wait time could end up growing substantially.
Now, a strike is still a ways off. UAW Local 2164, which represents the 800 workers responsible for screwing the Corvette together, is set to vote on authorizing a strike today, but even if the employees give the action a go, it's far from a sure thing. According to The Tennessean, both regional and national union officials would need to put their stamp of approval on strike action.
"The membership has to vote to strike, but it's just a step in the process," said Gary Casteel, the UAW's Region 8 director and one of the people that would need to authorize a strike action. Casteel told The Tennessean, "It's purely a local situation, though. They are having some issues with the local management."
Details of those issues are, sadly, rather scarce. "Our people are being mistreated, and there is inequity in discipline and problems with quality and safety that aren't being addressed by management," Eldon Renaud, president of Local 2164, told The Tennessean. "Our members are tired of it."
Aside from the "inequity of discipline," mentioned, there have also been complaints with the facility's personnel director, as well as contractors and subcontractors.
In an official statement to Autoblog, GM had this to say:
"We pride ourselves in working with our UAW Local 2164 partners to achieve success and build award-winning vehicles. We're confident that we can work together and have a strong track record of creative problem solving. We've built a world-class product at the Bowling Green facility for more than 30 years, with the safety of our employees and quality of the car at the forefront of every decision. We are committed to continue that tradition."
We also reached out to the UAW for comment, although they weren't willing to comment over the phone, directing us to email. We're currently waiting on a response, and will be sure to update this story as soon as we hear back.