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UAW calls strike against GM
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default UAW calls strike against GM

Quote:
UAW Calls National Strike Against GM
Monday September 24, 1:31 pm ET
By Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher,
AP Auto Writers



DETROIT (AP) -- Thousands of United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors plants around the country Monday in the first nationwide strike against the U.S. auto industry since 1976.
UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said that job security was the top unresolved issue, adding that the talks did not stumble over a groundbreaking provision establishing a UAW-managed trust that will administer GM's retiree health care obligations. Gettelfinger complained about "one-sided negotiations."

"It was going to be General Motors' way at the expense of the workers," Gettelfinger said at a news conference. "The company walked right up to the deadline like they really didn't care."

Gettelfinger added that the union and GM's management would return to the table Monday.

Workers walked off the job and began picketing Monday outside GM plants after the late morning UAW strike deadline passed. The UAW has 73,000 members who work for GM at 82 U.S. facilities, including assembly and parts plants and warehouses.

General Motors Corp. had been pushing hard in the negotiations for the health care trust -- known as a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA -- so it could move $51 billion in unfunded retiree health costs off its books. GM has nearly 339,000 retirees and surviving spouses.

"This strike is not about the VEBA in any way shape or form," Gettelfinger said at an afternoon news conference in Detroit.

"The No. 1 issue here is job security," Gettelfinger later said, adding that the union also was fighting to preserve workers' benefits.

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the automaker was disappointed in the UAW's decision to call a national strike.

"The bargaining involves complex, difficult issues that affect the job security of our U.S. work force and the long-term viability of the company," he said. "We remain fully committed to working with the UAW to develop solutions together to address the competitive challenges facing GM."

It remained to be seen what effect the strike would have on the automaker and consumers. The company has sufficient stocks of just about every product to withstand a short strike, according to Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis for J.D. Power and Associates.
Wow...first time since 76??

Hoffa'd be proud. We've got a couple of Delphi plants up here that make parts for GM. I wonder how they'll be affected.

Thoughts?

Late.
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