KOKOMO, IN—Workers at the Stellantis casting plant here ratified a new local contract on Sept. 12 after an almost three-day strike.
The agreement between Stellantis and United Auto Workers Local 1166 was reached on Sunday, Sept. 11, after workers went on strike early Saturday. Details of the vote weren't immediately available.
UAW leaders championed the agreement as obtaining key requests of the members. Since 2019, the local has been negotiating with the company, demanding that it install a new heating and air-conditioning system, pay for uniforms, repair equipment to secure work in-house, and address overtime language to protect departments and classifications.
“The environment in the plant has deteriorated over the years due to the company’s decision to save money by not properly maintaining or providing the proper HVAC in the plant,” UAW vice president Cindy Estrada said in a statement. “The bargaining committee also fought hard to win dozens of demands that the members had submitted. This agreement will address these and many other issues that will benefit the Local 1166 members.”
Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement that the company is pleased the agreement was ratified and that operations at the plant would resume Monday night. There was no impact to production at any other plants.
Kokomo Casting is the world’s largest die cast facility, according to Stellantis’ website. The 625,000-square-foot plant produces aluminum parts for automotive components, transmissions and transaxle cases as well as engine block castings. It employs 142 salaried and 1,071 hourly employees.
National negotiations between the UAW and the Detroit Three automakers are set to begin next summer.
In May, Stellantis announced that it is partnering with South Korean battery manufacturer Samsung SDI to construct a new $2.5 billion electric-vehicle battery plant in Kokomo. It is one of two battery plants Stellantis has announced in North America. The other is in Windsor, Ontario.Last month, Stellantis announced that the casting plant would be part of a $99 million investment in three North American plants for production of a new 1.6-liter, I-4 turbocharged engine that can support gas-powered and hybrid-electric powertrains.