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Posted on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Union members vote down negotiated contract at Saline auto parts plant

By Ben Freed

A combination of former Automotive Components Holdings employees and probationary workers at the Faurecia automotive parts plant in Saline voted down a union-negotiated contract with Devon Alpha Services II on Monday.

Union officials expressed frustration with the vote, while leaders of a group that filed charges against the UAW with the National Labor Relations Board said the vote showed the union was failing its members.


Faurecia officially took over the plant from Automotive Components Holdings in June of 2012.

Courtesy of Faurecia

Much of the conflict surrounding the contract centers on the timeline of the document’s release and the scheduling of the vote.

The plant’s union chairman Jason Heath posted signs late on the night of Feb. 14, announcing that the new contract was finalized and that a vote would be held Feb. 18. The flyer also announced informational meetings to be held the same day as the voting.

According to union officials, the four-day period between the flyer’s posting and the vote was not an uncommon time period, especially for a relatively short contract. The contract between the two parties was 20 pages long including supplements for both ACH employees and probationary employees.

Copies of the contract were available for employees to review and while they were not advertised on the flyer, union officials say they were readily available to any employee who made an effort to acquire one.

Debi Muncy, a former Ford employee, said she spoke with employees in the plant who felt they were not given enough notice about the vote or time to review the contracts.


This notice announcing the informational meetings and vote on the contract was posted Thursday night by plant chairman Jason Heath.

“Everything that comes down to them is presented as ‘do this or you’re done here,’ and it’s all done in a very rushed timeline with no information,” she said.

“This was really a one-day notice, not four. If they want to count Saturday and Sunday they should have made some attempt to reach out to people before Monday.”

Union officials say they understand the transition from ACH to the new payroll company is confusing for some employees, but they believe that this contract presents an opportunity for employees who otherwise would be unemployed.

Some former ACH workers at the plant chose to continue as temporary workers rather than hiring on full time with new owner Faurecia. The ones currently being employed by DAS II are the ones who had not yet been placed in a Ford plant at the time ACH disbanded in late 2012.

“This was actually one of the best agreements we’ve got for people at former ACH plants,” a union official said.

“It turned out to be a bit complicated because we’re trying to give all of our members options. This was unique to Saline that these people were able to continue working. At all the other locations, all extra members got laid off… It was different here than the rest of the plants but it was better, we thought.”

According to the contract, the ACH employees transferring to DAS II have no change to their wage or benefits from a previous agreement reached between the UAW and ACH in August, 2010.

ACH employees are reminded in the document that as they transfer to DAS II, they are still considered temporary employees and in the event of a reduction in force, “ACH employees shall be laid off first in accordance with their seniority.”

Most former ACH employees at the plant are waiting to be transferred to Ford’s Flat Rock plant. Muncy said the frustration level of those employees has been growing since they were first hired in, most of them in 2006 and 2007.

“Just last week a group of people were told they were going to be transferring to Flat Rock finally and then at the last minute it was pulled back,” she said.

“And things do change like that, it’s not uncommon, but for this particular group to say that and then pull it back again is just not fair. They’ve been temporary workers for so long it plays very prominently in their feelings.”


These terms, found on page 17 of the contracted between the UAW and DAS II outline the terms for ACH employees transferring to the new entity.

The union officials said their next step will be to go back in to the plants and talk with people to try to find out why the contract was voted down. They said they believe frustration on behalf of people who have not been transferred to Ford might have been a bigger issue than the bargaining agreement itself.

The transfer dates for many employees have been pushed back. Some who were told they would have jobs in Flat Rock by February have now been told that their hire in date will not come until May or June.

Muncy and fellow organizer Pat Meyer, who filed the NLRB charge against the UAW, said the issues go beyond the delayed transfers to Ford plants. A new attendance policy, or “point system,” has drawn the ire of some plant employees. Under the new system, ACH employees are allowed 8 “points” during the 2013 calendar before they are fired.

Muncy and Meyer say the points are an unfair system that can punish employees for being injured on the job or refusing overtime work. Union officials characterize the system as an attendance policy that is actually more similar to Ford’s agreement than the employee’s former system was.

“We don’t negotiate for people to not come to work,” an official said.

“We negotiated a very fair system… it’s just different than what they’re used to.” When they get to Ford, they will be working under an agreement that’s very similar to this one.”

The non-ACH workers who voted on the contract are workers who are in their first 90 days of employment at the plant. Under the contract, new employees would technically be employed by DAS II until they complete their probationary period and would then be hired into full-time jobs as Faurecia employees.

With the contract voted down, DAS II workers will continue to work without a collective bargaining agreement until union officials determine the cause of the no-vote and return to the negotiating table with Devon Alpha Services II. Once a new contract is negotiated, it will be brought back to the employees for another vote.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Who would have guessed, union members don't trust their leaders. Wonder why the union is scared to death that if given a choice for workers to be non-union, they will lose members and clout.


Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

Hey Ditka...Our Capitalistic state is a drain on everyone except those making huge bucks......Remember? those with the money make the rules?...Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Paraphrase...Our blue collar workers make the products that make these mega billion companies their money...without the workers...........Let's see the queen bee survival statistics without her workers....


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

Unions are an outdated, corrupt drain on our capitalist society. Purely socialist in its origin, it is the antithesis to earned growth and personal achievement. Todays "entitlement mentality" so prevalent in todays youth, is directly attributed to the Socialists Union Movement. My father taught me "You are responsible for your success and failure". Don't like the company you work for? Work somewhere else. If your really a team player, there are companies out there that will see you for the person you are and will compensate you for your hard work and skills. Or start a new business.... History is replete with success's that were created because Companies that did not value their workers, lost them to competitors who in turn, took the business away. I speak from experience.... worked in a Union Shop, Started New Business's and grew them WITH THE ASSISTANCE of my Team. Honored to have them at my side. Teaching my sons the same thing too. America was made GREAT thru personal effort / personal achievement and the desire to ACHIEVE. Unions Kill that desire...... "Hey Kid, Slow down, Don't Kill the Job" I personally heard that many times when I worked at Union Shops. Unions are the antithesis to Personal Greatness......


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

Unions did come about because of great reasons. Expecting this union to respect workers and earn their huge salaries has become a bad joke.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

The republican party had their special interests back! Fauecia is under employeeing all new hires at 11.00per/hr.....they pay for their medical, dental, and opticle.........OH and they pay the math. What's their bring home? Enough to support their family? That's what "Right to WORK" causes.....SLAVORY!


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

What the union leadership isn't telling the readers: 1. breaks changed 3 weeks ago from 20 minutes to 15.....(2 breaks per 8 hour shift). 2. If you are hurt at work the supervisor has and may deny that injured worker to go to medical for treatment. They tell us they will give us 1/2 of a point. (8 points in one year...terminated) 3. Personal days (5) per year can be taken whenever the employee wants with a call in was replaced with 5 vacation days ( must be requested by employee 48 hours in advance AND approved by the supervisor) in other words..a supervisor can deny your request. 4. Shift start times, break start times may be changed by the supervisor without being posted. If the supervisor forgets to tell you of a change and you go to break at the previous scheduled time, he can charge you with points. 5. if an employee is sick, employee gets a point. (under the previous ACH contract, proof of a doctors office and diagnosis from the doc was excused without pay. automatically. These are just a few of the changes that the union leadership agreed to with Faurecia without tel ing the dues paying membership. Nothing in writing. and on some instances the leadership couldn't agree what the rules are.


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

With all do respect Mark.... Feel that you are under compensated? Go elsewhere.... If you have the talents, there are plenty of Companies out here looking for Talented, Hungry, Driven people to enhance their Teams. Advice.... Drop the Union Attitude.... you will go so much farther.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

The unions were born because company managements were exploiting their workers with low wages, extreme working hours, a disregard for the safety of their employees. In effect up on the rise of the American union. With right to work not yet enforced, in my plant, management changes our start time without warning, lengthens our hours without warning, supervisors stand in one's work areas and admonish the person for not working fast enough, even though that employee is doing the best work they can. Takes no imagination to know that the faster one goes the more defective parts are created which are all OK, according to the supervisor because he gets a monthly bonus for the number of parts that ship off the line...THE PEOPLE DOING THE WORK DON"T GET BONUSES!


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

I'm an ACH? employee at the Saline Plant. I have been a temporary employee for over 5 years. The UNION local 892 has been collecting dues from me since January of 2008. The present union leadership has not only kept all ACH employees misinformed but they have not put any rule changes from our previous contract in writing until February 14, 2013. They do not answer phone calls, they require employees to come to them. We were told that ACH severed their contract with this plant as of 11/26/12. Yet they still honor their contract with ACH employees at the Sheldon Rd. Plant. The Union agreed to rule changes, of our previous contract, without informing their members while they told us all nothing would change, while we were employed with Faurecia. This is the "WHY" in why their have been growing tensions in the plant I work in.

dadog woof

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 12:38 a.m.

maybe if our goverment gave aid to companies that are struggling to be successful and not because of unions but competing against companies who make everything cheaply in china and then sell for full price here looks good on the books until no one can afford to buy anything because we'll all be unemployed! and for the record union members are taxpayers and since they [according to some on this site] are so wealthy the must pay quite a bit in taxes ,right?


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

If the union is so great then why are the members disgruntled, trying to railroad contract, just sign it and we'll discuss later.


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Does anyone know if working without a contract is actually working okay for the D.A.S II employees? Seems working w/o a contract is not much different than a R.I.F. approach in the event of a slowdown? (forgive my union ignorance)


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

This mindset worked oh so well for union members over at (now nonexistant) Hostess. Who needs right to work legislation when unions are doing a far better job of orchestrating their own extinction. Keep up the good work!


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

Awful management, awful union representation.

Tom Todd

Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.



Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

"Union officials expressed frustration with the vote, while leaders of a group that filed charges against the UAW with the National Labor Relations Board said the vote showed the union was failing its members." Soon the rank and file who are not satisfied with their union leadership can express their dissatisfaction by choosing not to pay their union dues. I guess the Republican party had the union member's back covered in this scenario with Right to Work legislation.

Bertha Venation

Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Absolutely, Gorc!