General Motors Workers Have to Decide

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Union workers at the General Motors Fairfax plant began voting  Thursday on whether they should strike against the company after rejecting a new local contract last Friday.

According to some of the workers voting Thursday morning, the reasons for the rejection include wage and seniority issues. The local contract typically deals with local plant rules and shift schedules, among other local issues.

“We’ve given up quite a bit already,” said one union worker. “We haven’t had a pay raise in over four or five years and now they’re fighting for our seniority and that’s about the only thing we’ve got left so we’re not willing to give that up,”

The plant in Kansas City, Kan., employees 3,400 hourly employees, of which 66 per cent of production workers and 58 per cent of skilled workers voted against the local contract Friday.

Last year, GM workers approved a national contract with the company that covers wages and benefits.

This strike would come at a crucial time, as production has begun on the Chevy Malibu, the company’s second best-selling car in 2010.

A union representative tells FOX 4 that a strike to vote doesn’t necessarily mean a strike will occur, but does give the union leverage in negotiations. Voting will continue until midnight Friday morning.

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