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Allison Transmission workers may strike this week

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Unionized workers at Allison Transmission Inc. are preparing for a strike if negotiators do not reach a collective bargaining agreement by a Wednesday night deadline.

Leaders of United Auto Workers Local 933, which represents about 1,500 hourly workers at the Indianapolis transmission plant, have begun telling members about their options and responsibilities if the union declares a strike.

The union held private meetings Monday to update members on the contract talks, which started Sept. 4.

Local 933 President Allen Harris did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday morning.

Postings on the union’s Facebook page list assigned times in which members would picket in four-hour blocks outside of Allison’s plant in Speedway and at the union hall on South Tibbs Avenue.

It was unclear what day pickets would start, if they did. But the Facebook page lists times as early as Friday.

Melissa Sauer, a spokeswoman for Allison Transmission, declined to comment on details of the negotiations. She said contract talks are continuing as the deadline approaches.

“We’re still in negotiations,” she said. “Both parties are still talking.”

A month before negotiations started, 98 percent of almost 1,200 UAW 933 members voted in favor of allowing the union to declare a strike.

A strike-authorization vote is a standard procedure before contract negotiations begin. The vote does not declare a strike. It merely grants the union the right to do so.

A Nov. 6 post on the union’s website from bargaining committee Chairman Dan Gibson indicated that a strike was a possibility.

“As of the time I am writing this, there are still many unresolved issues including grievances, local demands, and actual contractual language,” Gibson wrote. “Again, the entire negotiating team and I are asking this membership to be prepared to take the necessary steps to get a fair and equitable agreement for this entire membership.”

Gibson's post said union representatives would contact members to let them know what to do if work stopped at the transmission plant.

A Nov. 9 post said a strike would mean members would lose dental, vision and most medical coverage during a work stoppage. Workers would retain life insurance, transition bridge coverage, group medical-hospital insurance and prescription coverage.

Local 933 members would be eligible for $40 pay per day for five days a week starting the eighth day of a strike.

Union members “must perform an assigned strike duty” to receive the benefits.

Union officers have been negotiating with a company that, on Oct. 29, reported a $32.2 million profit for its third quarter, which was a 17-percent drop from a year earlier. Revenue fell 14 percent, to $493.5 million.

The company recorded a $503 million profit for the first nine months of the year, up from $58.5 million in the same part of 2011. The earnings spike was largely the result of a $308 million tax benefit. Net sales have held steady year-over-year at about $1.65 billion.

Allison, which makes transmissions for commercial trucks, buses and military vehicles, has said waning global demand has caused its recent sales slide.

The union’s colleagues at the International UAW and management at General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC avoided work stoppages in fall 2011 despite missing contract deadlines. Each company agreed to extend existing collective bargaining agreements while negotiators continued to hash out the labor pacts.

Allison stock was down 12 cents Tuesday morning, to $21.48 per share,

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  • Reality Check
    Did you go to college? Probably not. Quit complaining about getting paid to work. At least you have a job when you probably blew off high school and then couldn't get in to or finish college. Oh, and on the salaried side, insurance is as much as $130 per pay cycle, so your $50 seems like chump change. Quit complaining.
  • Re union
    Actually, UAW 933 is one of the best Unions in my opinion. My father makes more parts than 97% of his co-workers AND he's past retirement age. He can clock out at anytime and be done. He's still going though to put me through school. The in 2007 the plant manager made 90,000/year and now makes more than 2million + he was given millions in company stock. There is more to this story, especially on the end of insurance. These people work the concrete all day everyday and need new backs, knees, and shoulders. They are trying to go from a co-pay to a co-insurance. My father's heart attack would have cost 13,000 given this proposal... thankfully it only cost us less than 1000. Ron, I think you should do FULL research on this. I'm not saying unions are the best - but they aren't an absolute evil either.
  • re unions
    My fault... I thought unions were out. Unions are not needed. Why? Because like i said not all employees are treated fairly. The older employees do nothing and expect higher pay. The longer you are employed at a union job its harder to be fired. And i know a lot of employees do nothing they can leave work when they want they can pass the job onto a newer employee they actually become useless and they give demands but won't produce. If unions would be harder on lazy employees then i say ik lets keep unions otherwise remove the union and let the ceo or owner do as they may. Actually the owner or manager of a business loses power. See u say unions are good they help the people but i say unions suck they only hurt all around in the long run.
  • Union
    The solidarity is on the front lines so I may have insurance for when I work!!
  • typo correction
    Med. insurance at $50 / week rather, not $50 / mo.
  • Allison non union employee
    Right on, I support the strike. I am a test driver for Allison in Arizona, they are not union here, they pay test drivers ( of big rigs ) $10.00 / hr. with no raises ever to test drive on dangerous mountain roads, test drivers of regular cars are also paid $10.00 / hr., do you see something wrong with this picture ? Oh they do have medical insurance, at $50 / mo., lol. Unions are necessary, I have to live the reality why unions are necessary everyday as I am exploited and substantially underpaid. Perhaps they moved their operation to Arizona so they wouldn't have to pay union wages, or even fair prevailing wages in the industry for that matter.
    • Insurance for the holidays
      See how that solidarity holds up when you don't have health insurance and you get hit by a drunk driver, while you are on strike. When you declare medical bankruptcy, I bet all your brotherhood comes rushing to your side to help pay the bills...or more likely, not.
      • Unions
        Whoever said indiana does not have unions has no idea what they are talking about. This union is fighting for the employees so they may have insurance and other benefits. It's a brotherhood and they have each others back. They fight for what is right! Solidarity!
      • did away with unions?
        No Indiana didn't do away with unions krogers has a union ups has a union allison transmission has a union rolls royce has a union We need unions for protection your entitled to your opinions but trust they are needed in this everyday lives of people who have them.
      • facebook page for allison employees
        The facebook page is for employees of allison only and is also closed to the public
      • Unions?
        You talk out of both sides of your mouth. You say unions suck, but then you turn around and say as an employee we should all "stand up and say if we work for you we want insurance". What do you think a union does? It negotiates with the employer to get things like insurance, paid vacations, and retirement benefits!!!
      • union
        I thought Indiana did away with unions? This is why we do not need unions. They suck, i know people who work in places that have unions and the older employees do nothing cause they know they can't be fired. And let the newest employees do all the work. And about obamacare... Do you realize what company owners are doing? Laying off and cutting employees hours so they don't have to pay insurance. Oh they really care about their employees not giving them insurance how sad is this? But they live in nice homes drive nice cars spend money like its nothing but they can't give their workers insurance. We should stand up and say if we work for you we want insurance. After all if it wasn't for us doing work for you, you wouldn't be where you are today. Company owners start caring about the employees who slave drive for you.
        • Allison Transmission
          could you tell me what the Facebook page is for the UAW that you are referring to in the article. I was unable to find it. Thank you.

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