More than 3,300 United Auto Workers went out on strike Friday at a key General Motors Corp. stamping plant that makes parts for its lucrative light trucks.
The strike, the seventh against GM since early 1997, came after negotiators failed to reach agreement by the union's 10 a.m. deadline. Talks went around the clock in the final day.A lengthy strike could cost the No. 1 automaker hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales of its high-profit pickups, sport utility vehicles and minivans. Like the rest of the industry, GM has been enjoying strong sales of light trucks.
"We are extremely concerned about this critical work stoppage that may have far-reaching consequences," GM spokeswoman Mary Irby said. The plant was shut down 20 minutes after the deadline passed and workers began to staff picket lines.
The Flint Metal Center north of Detroit makes fenders, doors, hoods and other sheet metal parts for most of GM's full-size light trucks and some cars. With 3,377 hourly workers, the plant supplies 16 GM assembly plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico.