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Autoworkers from closed plants are fighting over new GM contract



DETROIT (AP) – If they can close our plant, they can also close your plant.

This is the message from workers in three closed factories of General Motors who have not received any new products in the context of the recent preliminary agreement reached week between GM and the United Auto Workers, which has been beating the company in the US for over six weeks are on strike.

About 2,000 employees once worked in GM transmissions near Baltimore and Detroit, as well as in a small car assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, to repeat this message this week as 49,000 union members vote on the new four-year contract.

The approval could end the strike that paralyzed GM's production and cost the company an estimated $ 2 billion.

Most of the workers who lost their jobs at the three sites are scattered throughout the country after moving to other GM factories, so they are present in nearly all of the automaker's plants.

But few hope they can not. According to John Sandquist Jr., who built cars in Lordstown near Cleveland for 25 years, this is the case. He is not optimistic, will change the minds of others, but he will vote the pact.

"Your facility can be shut down at any time," said Sandquist. "What's missing from the contract is the language to prevent it from happening again."

Like many of the 1,400 workers who built the compact Chevrolet Cruze before GM stopped producing cars in Lordstown last March, Sandquist took over a transfer. He landed in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he will build the new mid-engined Chevy Corvette after the end of the strike.

He wondered why union leaders agreed to let GM close the factories and wondered if corruption within the UAW was affecting the decision side by side with the firm.

"We were the sacrificial lamb in this for the entire UAW," Sandquist said. "And we were fooled."

In August, as part of a corruption investigation, the FBI raided UAW President Gary Jones' home in a suburb of Detroit. He was not charged and did not comment on the raid. Earlier this month, Jones & # 39; 's successor as Missouri regional director was charged with $ 600,000 of embezzlement, and another UAW official pleaded guilty to accepting setbacks from union sellers.

Eight other people – including five UAW officials – were convicted The last two years of the looting of a jointly operated Fiat Chrysler-UAW training center for workers, whose prosecutors had accused $ 1.2 million, were diverted The Chairman of the Local business in Lordstown argued that they should vote on the contract and said they should stay on strike until GM opens its doors to early retirement and takeover bids for workers from closed factories who have not moved to other GM plants.

Kristin Dziczek, Vice President of Labor and Production, Center for A Utopia Research, an industry think tank, said it does not believe there are enough workers in the closed plants to influence the others and vote the deal.

"They are distributed throughout the system."

It will also be difficult to overcome the economic benefits of the contract, which will allow workers hired after 2007 to receive the same pay as older workers in a maximum of four years

So far, a large assembly plant in Spring Hill has Tennessee, the contract just barely rejected. The locals in Toledo, Ohio, at the GM technical center in Warren, Michigan, and at a metal mill in Saginaw, Michigan, overwhelmingly voted in favor.

The vote ends on Friday, and the final balance sheet will be published later that evening. As of Tuesday, the deal won with more than 1,000 votes.

In Spring Hill, where a large number of people moved out of Lordstown, plant closures were one of the reasons that made the workers reject the treaty. 51% According to Mike Herron, the union's union negotiator, 49% of workers were dissatisfied.


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