Workers at a BMW parts distribution centre in California have been granted a temporary reprieve from redundancy following negotiations between the German carmaker and the Teamsters Union.
Union leaders were told at the beginning of June that BMW was planning to lay off 70 workers at the Ontario centre at the end of August and recruit an external company using non-unionised workers to run the operation as part of a wider cost-cutting strategy across its US warehouses.
Negotiations have now guaranteed the workers a further six months work at the centre, which distributes parts across Southern California.
“We have agreed to proceed to extend the current contract for a period of six months so that both organisations can discuss and address the substantive issues we both have,” a spokesperson for the carmaker told Automotive Logistics.
BMW said it would not go into further detail until specific details were concluded internally.
Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa said: “Teamsters across the country, and unions that represent BMW and supply-chain workers across the globe, took part in numerous solidarity actions this summer in support of these workers. I am hopeful that the contract extension signals a new path for BMW and the Teamsters.”
BMW has six PDCs in the US including Ontario. The others are at Senatobia, Mississippi; Nazareth, Pennsylvania; Minooka, Illinois; Stockton, California; and Jacksonville, Florida. Four are already operated by outside contractors; it is not clear whether BMW still intends to make Ontario the fifth.
The union plans to renew meetings with BMW in September.