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Workers Return to GM Lordstown Assembly Plant

April 16, 1996

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) _ Workers returned to the job today at a General Motors Corp. assembly plant after an unauthorized one-day walkout to protest the firing of their shop chairman.

It was unclear if production resumed with the today’s first shift, which began at 6:18 a.m. EDT, or how many employees returned to the plant. Neither the union nor the company returned phone calls seeking comment today, but workers heading into the plant this morning told WKBN in Youngstown they were planning to get back to work.

After Monday’s first shift was stopped, enough workers arrived by that evening to run limited production on the plant’s second shift, GM spokeswoman Linda McGill said. McGill said she could not say how many workers were on the job, but 1,800 people typically work on each shift.

United Auto Workers Local 1112 on Monday directed the workers to end the wildcat strike in an order signed by the local’s president, Tony Zone, and by the fired shop chairman, Al Alli. A man answering the phone at union offices this morning would say only that he couldn’t provide his name or a comment and asked the caller to try back again.

The local represents about 5,500 active workers at the plant, which assembles Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunfires.

GM spokesman Ray Deibel would not say Monday whether the strikers would be fired for the walkout. The company was not talking with the union about the strike.

Since Lordstown is an assembly plant, the walkout would not have the same impact as last month’s strike at two Dayton, Ohio, brake plants. That 18-day strike created parts shortages and shut down much of GM’s North American operations before it was settled March 22.

The Tribune Chronicle of Warren reported that Alli was fired Saturday for improperly clocking out. Alli told the newspaper that he clocked out the same way he has for 20 years.

Deibel said Alli was fired ``for improper conduct in the plant, conduct in violation of GM rules that apply to that.″ He refused to give details or say whether it was related to the clocking out procedures.

Alli, the union’s lead negotiator, has been deadlocked in talks with Lordstown management over use of outside sources for the manufacture of some parts, staffing and health and safety issues.

He said last month he was considering whether to authorize a five-day strike notice.

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