EXCLUSIVE: Local union chairman reacts to GM announcement

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WEHT) – If you drove through parts of Bowling Green Tuesday, you would have seen picketers.

They were holding up signs that read, “UAW On Strike”.

Eyewitness News’ Kelly Austin spoke exclusively with Jason Watson, the Chairman for Local 2164, about the ongoing protests in Bowling Green and across the country.

Those picketers work at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

There are about 900 workers in Bowling Green and nearly 50,000 across the country protesting for change; changes like healthcare, job security, better benefits and better treatment for temporary workers.

“As of right now the company has suspended our health benefits. So, we are in the process of seeing what we trying to contractually navigate through that. That’s what was going on this morning. My thoughts are it’s a disappointing tactic and a very low blow at this point. As far as the union is concerned the legality aspect is that they would have and should have continued through the end of the month. So, we are pursuing that nationally with those individuals through the company.”

Contract talks between the United Auto Workers and General Motors has extended into a second day.

The walkout brought a standstill of more than 50 factories and parts warehouses in the union’s first strike against the automaker in over a decade.

GM is looking to cut its costs, but workers say they shouldn’t have to pay more because the company is making billions in profits.

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(This story was originally published on September 17, 2019)

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