GM, UAW talks to resume (Lordstown, OH)
LORDSTOWN — Contract talks are expected to resume between the General
Motors Lordstown Complex and United Auto Workers bargainers some two
weeks after meetings broke off, according to an industry trade publication.
Automotive News reported on its Web site late Wednesday afternoon that
United Auto Workers leaders met and ‘‘things were moving along,’’
according to sources the publication didn’t name but said are familiar
with the talks.
‘‘The issues are being worked out. I don’t know if they’ve returned to
the bargaining table, but that is something that is going to happen,’’ a
source close to GM said, according to Automotive News.
The source said GM’s plans for the next-generation small-car platform at
the Lordstown plant and the midsize car architecture at Fairfax are
‘‘back on track’’ after GM lifted the suspension late last week.
GM Lordstown spokesman Tom Mock declined to comment, but corrected part
of the story that stated GM will resume construction to prepare for a
‘‘There’s no construction activity related to any type of new vehicle
program going on at this time,’’ he said .
GM invested more than $1 billion, including $200 million for a high tech
paint shop, earlier this decade to prepare the plant to build the
Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 small cars it now produces.
The company never acknowledged it ceased planning for the Lordstown
future, but spokesman Dan Flores said, ‘‘In any negotiations, there are
ups and downs. GM and UAW are discussing some very difficult issues. All
parties are focused on improving the competitiveness of both locations
and putting both plants in the best position possible to secure future
Local 1112 President Jim Graham couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.
A leaflet distributed April 25 in the Lordstown assembly plant by UAW
Local 1112 officials said GM suspended the small-car program, and that
the International UAW had requested local negotiators to cease talks on
a new agreement.
International union and GM corporate officials were said to be
discussing concessions the automaker wants before it would award
Lordstown a new vehicle in the summer of 2009.
Key issues are believed to be GM’s request that union employees work
10-hour shifts without overtime pay and replacing union janitors making
standard $28 an hour pay with nonunion janitors at $12 an hour.