Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Strike Not Likely at City GM Plant before Mid-October, Says Union

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Strike Not Likely at City GM Plant before Mid-October, Says Union

Article excerpt

A strike at Oklahoma City's General Motors Corp. assembly plant is not likely before mid-October, according to local union leaders.

Because United Auto Workers selected Ford Motor Co. as the target for a strike if an agreement was not reached before the deadline, which was midnight Monday, GM operations will continue as usual, said Keith Campbell, Local 1999 president.

"Even if they (UAW and Ford) settled this before the deadline, it would be mid-October before we would be up against the wall," he said.

GM's contract with hourly workers has been extended "indefinitely," he said, but includes a clause which allows GM or the union to call-off the extension with three day's written notice.

That element has Bryan Gibson, GM personnel manager at the local plant, less certain that a strike would be deferred that long once Ford's contract is sewn up.

"There's a three-day clause in the contract," he said, "so technically they don't have to wait until Ford settles."

"We would probably continue under the extension for a certain period of time - two weeks or so - to allow full fledged agreement to be worked out," Campbell said. "But the extension agreement can be terminated with three-day written notice of either party."

Meanwhile, local negotiations continue, with some report of progress, Gibson said.

" We probably accomplished more in a couple of days there, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, than we have in a long time," Gibson said. "We still have a lot of work to do - a long way to go."

But the pace of the talks is not expected to increase.

"Unless you were close to a settlement, I'm not sure it would be productive to spend weekends and late hours continuing to meet," Gibson said. "Saturday was the first weekend day we have met.

"We will work if there is significant progess being made," he added.

Local talks started up again at noon Monday, Campbell said. …

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