GM Shuts Down Plants Due to Factory Strike

THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 9, 1998 | Go to article overview

GM Shuts Down Plants Due to Factory Strike


DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors on Monday idled two assembly plants and prepared to shut others as a strike at a Michigan stamping factory began to cause shortages of hoods, fenders, doors and other sheet-metal parts.

Negotiations continued at the Flint Metal Center, where the strike by nearly 3,400 workers entered its fourth day. The dispute is largely over work rules and staffing levels.

Norm McComb, a vice president for UAW Local 659, said there had been no progress in the talks. GM spokesmen declined to comment. With the flow of parts cut off for a variety of GM's light trucks and full-size cars, the first of 16 North American assembly plants supplied by Flint began to feel the strike's effects: * The automaker closed its Orion Township plant outside Detroit. About 2,800 hourly workers on the early shift were sent home and about 1,100 were kept to do maintenance and repairs, spokesman Gerry Holmes said. The plant makes five full-size cars: the Oldsmobile Eighty Eight and Aurora, Buick Riviera and Park Avenue, and Pontiac Bonneville. * The Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan., which makes the Pontiac Grand Prix and Oldsmobile Intrigue, was closed after Monday's day shift. The shutdown affected 1,455 workers. * The light truck plant in suburban Moraine, Ohio, will be closed Tuesday. Workers there worked reduced five-hour shifts Monday. The plant makes GM's midsize sport utility vehicles, including the Chevrolet Blazer. About 4,300 workers were affected. * Shifts also were reduced to five hours at the plant in Oshawa, Ontario, which makes the Chevrolet Lumina and Monte Carlo. There was no word on whether the plant would operate Tuesday. * UAW officials in Flint said they also expected the Buick City car assembly plant to close by Tuesday. The plant employs about 3,000 hourly workers making Buick LeSabre and Pontiac Bonneville sedans. The strike's effects was spreading to other parts plants as well. GM's Delphi Interior & Lighting plant in Auburn Hills, Mich., was closed; the company did not say how many workers were affected. Meanwhile, the company, the nation's largest automaker, began production of its redesigned full-size pickup Monday at its Oshawa truck plant, said an industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. …

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