UAW to hold strike vote in Bowling Green

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — An auto workers union has scheduled a vote over whether to authorize a strike at the Bowling Green General Motors Assembly Plant.

United Auto Workers 2164 will hold the ballot Tuesday. Union President Eldon Renaud told The Daily News (http://bit.ly/1jVWO2A ) that the issues involved deal with safety and the elimination of certain quality control positions, which the union thinks affects the integrity of the plant's quality procedures. Renaud would not provide further details.

"In this day and age, that is what unions have," Renaud said. "Improving production and quality. That is what we bank on."

Renaud said the 800 or so union workers have from noon until 6:30 p.m. to cast their ballots.

The vote comes just weeks after the retirement of plant manager Dave Tatman on March 1. His replacement was named before most employees knew Tatman was leaving. Jeff Lamarche was named to the post in mid-February, with his official start date at Tatman's departure.

The plant was closed for more than a year, gearing up and retooling for production of the Stingray that has been on showroom floors since last fall.

"We hope to get the issues cleared up. ... Safety is our major concern," Renaud said.

Bowling Green plant spokeswoman Andrea Hales did not return a call seeking comment.

The vote will come one day after Gov. Steve Beshear talked of making Kentucky as synonymous with the auto industry as Detroit.

Beshear on Monday announced the formation of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association to promote Kentucky as an automotive hub.

Beshear emphasized the association is not a state agency, but it will get some state money for marketing purposes. Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes will be the group's chairman.

Board members include representatives from Toyota, Ford, General Motors and various automotive supply companies.

Beshear said Kentucky ranks third in the country in light vehicle production. Kentucky's automotive exports reached a record $5.5 billion last year.

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Information from: Daily News, http://www.bgdailynews.com

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