Walkout at supplier’s site temporarily disrupts 2014 Jeep Cherokee output

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 22, 2014

Output of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee was temporarily disrupted on April 17 after around 70 workers at a Piston Automotive site in Toledo, Ohio walked off the job about 9 a.m. over a union dispute. According to Ken Lortz, regional director of the UAW for Ohio, the row is over recognition of the union as the bargaining representative for the site’s workers.

The walkout was first reported byThe Toledo Blade. Piston Automotive produces axles for the 2014 Cherokee at its Toledo site. Lortz told Automotive News that UAW has been seeking union recognition at the site for two months after informing the supplier that it had obtained “an overwhelming majority” of cards from employees seeking union representation.

Lortz remarked that Piston Automotive has so far declined to recognize the cards. Lortz said that the walkout is a validation that workers at Piston Automotive knew what they were signing – that they want to be unionized.

A spokeswoman for Chrysler Group would not say to Automotive News if the walkout affected production of the Cherokee, adding that the carmaker is “continuing to monitor the situation.” She said that the issue was between Piston Automotive and the UAW, adding that Chrysler is hoping for a quick resolution. Jeep sold 36,096 Cherokees in the first quarter of 2014.

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