No Talks Set in Champion Strike
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ A strike by members of the United Auto Workers union against Champion Spark Plug Co. entered its third day Monday with no talks scheduled to end the work stoppage at Champion’s five plants in the United States and Canada.
The union called the strike Friday afternoon after contract negotiations broke down.
Asked if any talks have been scheduled with the union, company spokesman Tony Mougey said, ″Unfortunately, no.″
A union spokesperson could not be reached for comment Monday.
Champion makes spark plugs primarily for the replacement market.
The strike, which began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, affects 950 workers at the Toleo plant; 200 in Cambridge, Ohio; 475 in Detroit; 475 in Burlington, Iowa; and 150 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
The UAW represents 4,000 Champion employees, but some 1,800 are laid off.
Economic issues are at the heart of the strike.
The UAW criticized what it called ″take-aways″ proposed by Champion in wages, health benefits, holidays and cost-of-living allowances.
Mougey acknowledged that the company is asking for cost-of-living ″adjustments,″ but said it could be argued whether cost-of-living allowances are wages or benefits. The average Champion hourly employee makes more than $24 an hour in wages and benefits.
The UAW has represented Champion hourly workers for 45 years. Previous strikes occurred in 1962 and 1983, company officials said. The 1983 work stoppage lasted for 44 days.