Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

UAW Members Strike GM Parts Assembly Plant

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

UAW Members Strike GM Parts Assembly Plant

Article excerpt

FLINT, Mich. (AP) _ A strike that threatens to disrupt North American auto production broke out Wednesday at a General Motors Corp. plant that makes spark plugs, filters and electronic parts for dozens of assembly plants.

Negotiators worked all night but failed to smooth out disputes over staffing and overtime at the AC Delco East complex, maker of auto parts for all Big Three automakers.

Three hours of talks were later held between GM and the United Auto Workers officials representing the 6,800 workers on strike. The talks were to resume today.

Union officials said the issues were similar to those that caused two GM strikes last year, which interrupted the supply of parts and quickly forced other factories to close.

They contend GM has violated their contract by refusing to hire up to 500 additional workers to reduce overtime. The union says the long work days and work weeks are creating health and safety hazards.

Strong demand for cars and trucks has many auto plants running at capacity.

"Most of these guys have been working a lot of overtime," said Al Woodham, a GM autoworker for 31 years. "They're tired."

The UAW predicted that GM plants in Flint and Lansing would feel the impact within a day, and GM plants elsewhere could be forced to shut down soon after.

The Buick City plant in Flint produces the Buick LeSabre and Park Avenue and the Oldsmobile 88 Royale. Another Flint plant produces full-size vans. The Lansing assembly plant produces the Pontiac Grand Am, Olds Achieva and Buick Skylark.

"Within a week, it will go nationwide," said Jill Miron, chairwoman of executive board of Local 651.

Automakers' reliance on the just-in-time delivery system for parts makes them vulnerable to any interruption in supplies.

Chrysler Corp. spokesman Alan Miller said that the No. 3 U.S. automaker didn't expect to be hurt by the strike. Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said he was unaware of any likely effects at the No. 2 automaker. GM declined to comment on the effect. …

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