DETROIT, July 16 (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers union has called a strike against a Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) factory in Columbia, Tennessee, that will supply seats and consoles for the upcoming Chevrolet Traverse crossover vehicle from General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
UAW Local 1853 President Mike O'Rourke, who also represents workers at GM's Spring Hill, Tennessee, assembly plant, said JCI management had refused to recognize the union even though 170 of 172 workers at the plant signed union cards.
The strike, which began on Wednesday, has the potential to disrupt production of the Traverse, one of the new vehicles GM is counting on to offset declining sales for its full-size trucks and SUVs.
Full production of the 2009 model-year Traverse is set to start in early September, GM spokeswoman Sharon Basil said. (Reporting by Kevin Krolicki, editing by Maureen Bavdek)