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GM Strike Forces Parts Shortage, 11 Factories Close

March 11, 1996

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ The week-old strike at two General Motors Corp. brake plants forced the automaker to close three more of its plants today, for a total of 14 idled by a shortage of parts.

No new negotiations were scheduled.

Today’s closures mean the walkout at two Dayton plants has idled more than 40,000 GM workers at 12 of the automaker’s 29 North American assembly plants and two other parts plants, the company said.

``The longer this strike continues ... the more plants that could be closed,″ GM spokesman Tom Klipstine said Sunday. ``We’re going to be watching day-by-day and even hour-by-hour in some cases.″

Workers at one of the idled assembly plants threatened their own, separate walkout once the brake plant strike is settled.

About 3,000 United Auto Workers at two Delphi Chassis Systems brake plants in Dayton struck the nation’s largest automaker March 5 over safety and job security issues. The plants supply brake systems and parts to nearly all of GM’s 29 assembly plants.

No talks were scheduled for today at the main bargaining table. Informal talks were held over the weekend, but no progress was reported. UAW Local 696 officials said they were ready to return to formal talks.

Shut down today were truck plants at Pontiac, Mich., and Fort Wayne, Ind., and a car plant at Ste. Therese, Quebec.

The strike had earlier shut down GM assembly plants at Moraine; Lordstown; Shreveport, La.; Detroit; Lansing and Orion Township, Mich.; Oshawa, Ontario; Wentzville, Mo.; and Wilmington, Del.

After the Dayton walkout is settled, workers at the Lordstown plant in northeastern Ohio are prepared to stage their own strike, a local UAW official said.

Safety and job security also are the issues at Lordstown, said Al Alli, shop chairman of UAW Local 1112.

Also idled by the Dayton strike was an engine plant in Lansing and a seat plant in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Like other automakers, GM minimizes inventories to cut costs, a practice that makes it vulnerable to disruptions in supplies.

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