Labor and management at General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp.'s joint-venture plant in California negotiated Friday in an effort to replace a union contract ending early today. A company spokeswoman said a strike "isn't very likely."
"We are working hard to get an agreement by tonight," Rhonda Rigenhagen, a spokeswoman for the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont said. "It's typical for talks to go down to the wire."
The plant, which builds Toyota Corolla cars, Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks and GM's Pontiac Vibe hatchback, hasn't had a work stoppage in 11 years. The four-year contract with United Auto Workers Local 2244 was set to expire at 2 a.m. The union represents about 4,000 workers at the venture, which began production in December 1984.
The delay in reaching an agreement stems from a dispute over healthcare costs, the Detroit Free Press reported last week. The venture, known as Nummi, proposed a contract that didn't include a wage increase and would require union members to pay as much as 30% of monthly medical and dental insurance costs, the newspaper said, citing a document circulated by Local 2244.