5/14/08

UAW lobs another labor-state strike notice at GM

The UAW local that represents workers at a General Motors Corp. stamping plant near Mansfield, Ohio, have threatened to go on strike at 10 a.m. Thursday, GM spokesman Dan Flores said today. The workers at UAW Local 549 in Ontario, Ohio, have been working under threat of strike for several weeks, while a local contract with GM is negotiated.

UAW local contracts regulate such things as job selection and work rules.

The four other UAW locals that issued strike threat notices at the same time as Mansfield have now either reached tentative contract agreements or gone on strike.

The UAW local that represents Lansing Delta Township Assembly went on strike April 17. The UAW local that represents Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kan., walked out on strike on May 5.

Like Mansfield, those locals say they have been unable to reach contract agreements with GM after months of negotiations.

The local contract negotiations come on the heels of a controversial new national contract last fall that lowered the wage and benefits levels new workers will get, made it difficult for longtime GM workers to move into less physically demanding jobs, created a strict absentee policy and shifted GM’s UAW retiree health-care liabilities to a union-run account.

Talks between GM and the union locals in Mansfield, Delta Township and Kansas City continue, Flores said.

(freep.com)

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