AFL-CIO President Visits Central Indiana GM Facility, UAW Members

Oct 2, 2019

Photo caption: UAW members picket outside one of the GM Fort Wayne Assembly gates.
Credit Samantha Horton / IPB News

The president of the AFL-CIO visited striking auto workers from a central Indiana General Motors facility Tuesday afternoon. The stop comes as contract negotiations continue.

United Auto Workers officials released a statement Tuesday saying a contract proposal from GM failed to meet union member’s “demands or needs.”

While union leaders say they’re awaiting a response to their counter-proposal, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke with UAW workers in Bedford. The AFL-CIO consists of 55 unions, including the United Auto Workers. UAW Local 440 President Kevin Hutchinson says Trumka’s visit with workers from the GM Bedford casting facility was an honor.

“His message was to them was the members of the AFL-CIO have our backs; they’re supporting us,” Hutchinson says. “And his message to them was one day longer, one day stronger.”

Hutchinson says even if negotiations improve between the union and GM, it will still take a while for the strike to end.

“Right now the way everything is set up, if they were to call me today and say be in Detroit on Saturday, it would probably be two weeks before our members went back to work,” he says.

The UAW strike against GM is now in its third week and affects thousands of Hoosier workers throughout the state.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

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