Dozens in picket line outside Dana Incorporated

Dozens in picket line outside Dana Incorporated
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Hundreds of people from the UAW were lined up outside Dana Incorporated in a picket line Wednesday morning.

As the day goes along, dozens, including Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken, continue to peacefully protest outside of the west Toledo plant.

Dana workers are calling for a union.

When Dana moved into the old Jeep plant property, they agreed to negotiate a contract with the UAW. Now, workers are upset they are not holding up their end of the bargain.

"Workers at Dana reached out to the UAW and said they wanted to be represented. We have a neutrality agreement with Dana that says when we get a majority of workers to sign cards that say they want to be represented by the UAW, Dana will recognize us, they'll verify the cards and we can sit down and negotiate a contract," said Director of UAW Region 2B Rich Rankin. "For I guess several different reasons, Dana has decided they did not want to recognize the UAW. We've had a majority of the cards signed by these workers for over three weeks now and have tried everything we could to work with Dana and get them to recognize us like they should, and they refuse to do so."

One Dana worker said Wednesday would have been 24 days in a row of working 12-hour shifts seven days a week.

Dana spokesman Jeff Cole released this statement about the strike Wednesday morning:

Dana respects the right of our people to organize. In this case, there are competing unions soliciting our employees to become members. When this happens, there is a defined process -agreed upon by both unions- that must be followed to decide which union will represent our people. Today's actions circumvent that process and are disappointing. As part of our contractual obligations with both the United Auto Workers and the United Steelworkers, we remain neutral as to which union will represent our people. We look forward to resolving this matter with both unions as quickly as possible and to bargaining in good faith with whichever union is ultimately selected.

Commissioner Gerken, a 30-year UAW retiree says the site of the former Jeep plant is UAW ground.

"This community supported this plant, including the board of county commissioners, the city of Toledo, the Port Authority. We invested taxpayer money into it so we could have these jobs. These fine jobs, they go to fine people in the finest union in northwest Ohio, and that's the UAW. The steel workers need to go to their steel plants. Ladies and gentlemen, this is UAW ground. This is Jeep ground," said Gerken.

The picket was planned Tuesday by word of mouth and through Facebook.

People from the UAW have been out in front of the plant since about 3 a.m. They say they will be out there as long as they need to.

Rankin said the goal is get to get workers back into the plant so they can continue to make axels for the Jeep Wrangler.

"The public loves it, it's a great vehicle. These axels are the best axels in the world, and we want to get in there and build them so we can sell Jeeps," said Rankin.

President of UAW Local 12 Bruce Baumhower says they are on the scene in support of those fighting for a union.

In addition to Dana workers, UAW members, the teachers union and Jeep retirees are joining in the picket.

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