Work resumed Tuesday at two General Motors Corp. assembly plants that were idled by a nine-day strike at a GM parts stamping plant. The stamping-plant strike ended over the weekend.
Production on 1993 models resumed Tuesday at GM's Saturn asembly plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. The 4,200 workers from GM's Buick City complex in Flint, Mich., also returned to work Tuesday.The 2,400 members of United Auto Workers 1714 ended their strike Saturday against the GM parts plant in Lordstown, and some went back to work that night. Work at the plant continued through the Labor Day holiday weekend and Tuesday.
The strike idled 42,000 GM assembly workers nationwide, as well as an undetermined number in businesses that supply assembly plants.
Other assembly plants directly affected by the strike were the GM plants in Oklahoma City; Wentzville, Mo.; Baltimore; Orion Township, Mich.; Lansing, Mich.; Wilmington; and a plant adjacent to the parts plant in Lordstown.
Start-up decisions will be made gradually at the other idled assembly plants, GM spokesman John F. Maciarz said.
Some of 320 workers at Inland Fisher Guide in Columbus also returned to work Tuesday to resume making parts for GM vehicles. More were expected back on the job Wednesday.
Warren Davis, Cleveland-based director of UAW Region 2 and a member of the union's executive committee, said Saturday he hopes the strike and settlement, which resolved issues of job security and health-safety issues, will set a positive tone for national contract negotiations next year.
"I would like to believe that the Lordstown confrontation will help the industry begin to recognize . . . that autoworkers and their union cannot be expected to sacrifice their jobs and working conditions to make up for management's past mistakes and continuing market problems," he said.
Gerald A. Knechtel, vice president of personnel for GM's North American operations, referred to the strike as unfortunate but said it resulted in the company and the union resolving "a number of competitive local issues" within the Lordstown plant.
"Just as importantly, this agreement does not impinge upon our ability to meet our restructuring targets while providing job and income security and addressing other needs of the employees at that plant," Knechtel said.
GM announced last year it will close 21 plants and eliminate about 60,000 hourly positions in the United States and Canada by 1995.
The union said the Lordstown local's agreement ensures 160 vacancies will be filled with GM workers laid off elsewhere. About 140 new positions will be created through increased production of the Saturn, as well as Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunbird built at the Lordstown assembly plant.
Dave Fascia, Local 1714 shop chairman, said the agreement also allows the union to keep 240 tool and die jobs that GM sought to eliminate. But GM spokeswoman Linda Cook said those jobs could be transferred out of Lordstown.