Toledo union workers travel to Detroit, rally to "Keep the Fleet"

DETROIT (13abc Action News) - From Toledo to Detroit, workers at Fiat-Chrysler's Toledo transport terminal took their message on the road Sunday.

"We want them to hear us loud and proud and we are here to make a demonstration," said Toledo Transport Terminal Dispatcher Jason Deamicis.

Hundreds of workers from UAW Local 12 gathered outside Detroit's auto show to protest what they call an "outsourcing of jobs."

"What better place to come to than where all the automobiles are and the guys that make it happen are right in front of it," said Toledo Transport Fleet Representative Roger Weckerlin.

Back in October, FCA announced plans to wind down operations at the Hagman Road terminal early this year.

Now it's a reality and by the end of February, dispatchers, drivers and mechanics there will lose their jobs when the doors are closed for good.

"We've had a relationship for over 30 years working together to solve problems and they just decided they're going on their own and they're making the decisions," said Local 12 President Bruce Baumhower.

Leaders like Baumhower say the decision to close the Toledo terminal was made without union consultation under short notice.

"They ain't been talking with none of us about it for two years," said Weckerlin. "They might have had their little back door conversations about it, but it ain't been with me or any of my guys that mean anything."

But FCA leaders say otherwise. The automaker released a statement to 13abc that reads in part:

"FCA US respects the rights of Local 12 to rally in support of their members, but maintains our position that we have been discussing the Toledo terminal wind down with UAW leadership for over two years," said spokesperson Jodi Tinson. "It is the intention of FCA us to find employment opportunities for all impacted Toledo FCA transport employees."

With the closure happening as planned, workers are hoping FCA will sit down and bargain to "Keep the Fleet."

"I work with a bunch of great men and women who take our job seriously and we want to be taken seriously," said Deamicis.