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Second work stoppage ends at GM.

For the second time in a month, members of the United Auto Workers struck a General Motors plant over local grievances. (See Monthly Labor Review, November 1992, p. 51.) The job action occurred at a Lansing, MI, body assembly plant when management and union representatives failed to resolve differences over how rest periods would be scheduled during work shifts. The 4-day dispute resulted in the walkout of 4,200 auto workers at the plant and the layoff of an additional 3,000 workers at another plant in Lansing.

The company had introduced a "mass relief" procedure requiring all workers on one of the two production lines to rest when the assembly lines stopped, allowing GM to eliminate 300 to 350 jobs on its relief crew. GM officials said that under the terms of the current agreement any employees displaced under the mass relief system would be offered other jobs, be placed in a job bank, or be covered by other job-income security provisions. The union had proposed to continue the "tag relief" system, in which relief workers spell employees taking a rest period.

Terms of the settlement called for GM to drop plans to switch the second production line to a mass relief system and allow workers to decide between a tag relief system or a mass relief system.

The dispute highlights the contentious relationship between the UAW and GM because of the automaker's plans to close as many as 21 plants and eliminate up to 74,000 jobs by 1995 and the union's efforts to block these cost-cutting moves. It also foreshadows hardball negotiations expected next year when the contracts between the domestic automakers and the union expire.
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Title Annotation:General Motors Corp.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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