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Workers Strike Lordstown Plant; Union Orders Them Back

April 15, 1996

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) _ First-shift auto workers walked off the job today at a General Motors Corp. assembly plant, saying they were protesting the firing of their shop chairman. Their union ordered them to return to work.

UAW Local 1112 issued a one-sentence statement early this afternoon ordering an end to the walkout, saying, ``This is not an authorized strike and the membership should return to work immediately.″ It was signed by Local 1112 President Tony Zone and by the fired shop chairman, Al Alli.

None of the first-shift workers went back to their jobs. There was no indication whether the second shift would report to work at 6:18 p.m. EDT.

United Auto Workers Local 1112 represents about 5,500 active workers at the plant, which assembles Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires.

Since it is an assembly plant, any walkout could not have the wide-ranging effect of last month’s strike at two Dayton brake plants, which created parts shortages at other plants and shut down much of GM’s North American operations.

The 18-day Dayton walkout by 2,700 workers in a local contract dispute was settled on March 22.

Today’s strike halted production at the Lordstown plant, said GM spokesman Ray Deibel. He said it violated the company’s contract with the UAW, but would not say if striking workers would be fired.

He said about 1,800 members of Local 1112 work the first shift, and roughly the same number work the second shift.

Alli and Zone could not be reached for further comment; a woman who answered the phone at the union local said no one was available to talk.

Deibel said Alli was fired for improper conduct at the plant, but would not give details. Alli said he was fired for improperly clocking out, reported the Tribune Chronicle of Warren.

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