The Aftermath of a Failed Daimler Chrysler Vote

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

For nearly three decades, the Daimler Chrysler plant is Terry Doyle's workplace, but when the paint decorator went to the UAW on Wednesday to vote on a local ratified contract, something was wrong.

"Classifications went from 18 to 12. I want to know which ones are gone. There was just not enough information available to make an informed decision," Doyle said.

Local UAW 1268 leadership sees it differently. They admit snags in the contract along with a committed Wednesday vote date only provided one day for workers to review the agreement. However, the UAW says they went over the contract word for word with workers before the vote.

"We worked on this thing for two years. We weren't running from no one. We laid out all the facts at the ratification meeting. We didn't try to hide nothing," Graham said.

Doyle says his no vote wasn't so much about larger pay concerns as it was about smaller issues he didn't see while reviewing the contract.

"Little things such as fans, drinking water, being able to leave the premises. Jobs postings. Job postings are also huge, things of that nature," Doyle said.

Other workers admitted outsourcing as a key reason they voted no. The UAW admits no contract would be without some job movement, but points out if Belvidere doesn’t accept a contract proposal for new vehicles, some other plant will in a heartbeat.

"Yes there's going to be some outsourcing, but we are sitting at 2,200 members right now. We will probably go anywhere to 2,500 to 3,000 jobs, so if they had outsourced a few jobs, yep we don’t like that either, but in order to get that new car it had to be done," Graham said.

A small sacrifice to make for the long term job security in the Daimler Chrysler Plant.

Leaders at Belvidere's UAW local 1268 say they are continuing to work on a new contract proposal. They are confident the deal would include three new vehicles at the Daimler Plant.


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