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JUNE 11, 1998
9:00 PM
CONTACT: United Auto Workers 

UAW Strikes at Delphi East in Flint, Michigan
FLINT, MI - June 11 - UAW Local 651 members at the Delphi East plant in Flint, Michigan went on strike at 7 p.m. this evening over unresolved health and safety, subcontracting and production standards issues.

"UAW Local 651 members are being threatened with job losses due to subcontracting to vendors, speeded up conditions and over-loaded jobs that are clearly violations of the local and national agreements just signed in 1996," stated UAW Vice President Richard Shoemaker.

UAW Region 1C Director Ruben Burks identified some of the unresolved health and safety violations that led to the strike.

"Workers at GM’s Delphi East plant have to contend with excessive and damaging noise levels and lack of ventilation in welding areas," said Burks, who continued, "In addition the corporation has failed to address improperly ergonomically designed jobs, and violations of equipment lockout procedures that could lead to injury or death."

"Clearly, we are not happy that GM has allowed these local issues to continue unresolved so we must strike to force resolution," Shoemaker stated.

"The situation at Delphi East is made worse by the presence of hundreds of unresolved grievances, as well as the threatened sale of parts of the plant and exiting other parts of the business," Shoemaker stated.

"I remind you, if GM has their way Flint could lose about 11,000 jobs in the next two years -- a devastating blow to this community," Shoemaker said.

"The issues here in Flint underscore the point that in GM’s ‘America Last’ strategy, communities like Flint and elsewhere stand to loose out as GM downsizes to take advantage of poverty-level wages in other countries," Shoemaker declared.

"These issues concern our union as they should all clear-thinking Americans," Shoemaker said.

"Our immediate concern," he noted, "is resolving the strikes at Local 659 and Local 651 on the basis of the unresolved local union issues. And we are striving diligently to reach a conclusion as soon as possible," Shoemaker concluded.


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