Displaced members of the United Auto Workers Union plan to maintain pickets at General Motors’ Detroit –Hamtramck plant — where the Chevrolet Volt is assembled — as the new GM gets tangled up in an old-fashioned labor dispute.
The so far peaceful confrontation nonetheless casts a long shadow over the upcoming contract talks between the UAW and Detroit’s Big Three automakers.
The first pickets went up Monday in a dispute dating back to the winter of 2008-2009 when GM was facing bankruptcy, had shuttered its suburban Orion, MI assembly plant and left the Volt factory, nicknamed Poletown, on a short schedule.
More than 200 drivers belonging to UAW Local 174, based at a Ryder Logistics terminal in Highland Park, were put on indefinite layoff. They have now been told their services are no longer required, said Chris Smith, one of the displaced drivers, triggering the protest.