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Talks fail to end GM strike Local plant likely to shut down today


Negotiators for General Motors Corp. and the United Autoworkers met yesterday but were not successful in ending a strike at a parts plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that threatens to close the automaker's Baltimore minivan assembly plant this morning.

Louis Robinson, a spokesman for the union's Local 1714, said yesterday that while some progress as made during the weekend talks he could not predict when a settlement might be reached. Mr. Louis said the union is expected to issue its next a progress report this morning.

Dennis Mulkey, another union official, said the two sides were scheduled to return to the bargaining table again this morning.

About 2,400 workers at the Lordstown parts fabricating plant walked off the job Thursday morning in a dispute over job security, health and safety issues.

The Lordstown plant produces parts used in 14 GM models, including door frame components for the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari minivans made in Baltimore. Terry Youngerman, a spokesman for the local assembly plant, said on Friday that the Broening Highway plant did not have enough parts to keep the plant, which employs 3,200 workers, operating all day today.

Mr. Youngerman predicted that the Baltimore plant would be forced to shut down sometime during the first shift, probably before noon. The plant's 278 salaried workers and about 360 maintenance workers are scheduled to stay on the job.

He said it would likely take several days for the local plant to resume production once the strike ends.

During normal times workers at the Baltimore plant produce 47 minivans an hour. To keep pace with strong consumer demand for the products made here, employees have been working overtime and some Saturdays.

The Lordstown strike has already shut down the production of GM's popular Saturn car that is produced in Spring Hill, Tenn.

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