70,000 General Motors employees go on strike

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Monday, September 24, 2007

General Motors Training Center, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, Washington.
Image: Joe Mabel..

73,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) union members launched a nationwide strike today against General Motors (GM), the largest auto manufacturer in the United States.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said GM would need to meet pay, health care, and job security issues. Gettelfinge said, "This is nothing we wanted...No one benefits in a strike. But there comes a point where someone can push you off a cliff. That's what happened here."

The strike was officially launched at 11 a.m. EDT (UTC-4) today.

Negotiations were reportedly going to occur again this afternoon, but there have been no reports of any negotiating going on from either side.

80 facilities in 30 different states closed today because of the strike.

CNN reports that GM facilities in Mexico and Canada may close soon, too.

The vice president of global vehicle forecasts for CSM Worldwide, Michael Robinet, said today that dealerships in the US likely won't feel the effects of the strike for several weeks.

A statement from GM today said, "We are disappointed in the UAW's decision to call a national strike. The bargaining involved complex, difficult issues that affect the job security of our U.S. work force, and the long-term viability of the company. We are fully committed to working with the UAW to develop solutions together to address the competitive challenges facing General Motors. We will continue focusing our efforts on reaching an agreement as soon as possible."

If the strike continues, UAW strike funds will supply each striker with US$200 a month and medical coverage.


Sources

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