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Parts Makers' Strike Forces GM to Shut 2 Plants : Autos: A walkout at a key metal stamping factory in Ohio halts assembly of the popular Saturn and two other models.

August 29, 1992|From Times Wire Services

DETROIT — A strike at General Motors Corp.'s crucial Lordstown, Ohio, metal stamping plant forced GM on Friday to shut down two car assembly plants that ran out of parts made by the struck facility, including the one making hot-selling Saturns.

Early in the morning, the assembly line was idled at the Saturn plant at Spring Hill, Tenn.

The plant doesn't stockpile body parts it receives from Lordstown.

In the afternoon, GM's Lordstown assembly plant--next door to the striking stamping plant--ran out of parts for Pontiac Sunbirds and Chevrolet Cavaliers, GM spokesman John Maciarz said.

Negotiations resumed Friday on the deadlocked contract talks that led to the 2,400 workers going on strike Thursday.

UAW Local 714 struck over grievances about job security and the subcontracting of jobs done by skilled trades workers. GM has said that it plans to eventually close a tool shop at the plant that employs 240 workers.

The UAW also sent the Lordstown assembly plant a five-day notice of intent to strike on Sept. 4, said plant manager Robert Jones.

Jones said the letter discussed some issues, but he declined to elaborate.

Unlike Saturn, for which demand is overwhelming and supplies are scarce, there was a 47-day supply of Sunbirds and a 57-day supply of Cavaliers as of July 31, according to Ward's Automotive Reports.

The shutdown of the Lordstown assembly plant idled 7,000.

Meanwhile, GM announced that it will sell the wheel-bearing business of its Delco Chassis division. The plants in Sandusky, Ohio; Bristol, Conn., and Cadiz, Spain, employ more than 3,000.

The company has decided to buy bearings from other companies, as do most other auto makers, so that it can focus on its core business of selling cars, said George C. Johnston, general manager of the division.

In another announcement, General Motors said it plans to sell 25 million shares of Class H common stock, mainly to cover its purchase of General Dynamics Corp.'s missile business.

At recent prices, the sale would generate more than $600 million.

GM announced Tuesday the sale of its Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission division to ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a German maker of transmission, steering and suspension products. No price was disclosed.

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