2nd strike authorized against GM 2 Ohio plants are sole suppliers of shocks and struts

April 03, 1996|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Eleven days after settling a strike at two brakes plants that had halted all its vehicle production in the United States and Canada, General Motors Corp. has been notified that workers at two suspension parts plants in Kettering, Ohio, may walk off the job next week.

The International Union of Electronics Workers, which represents 2,700 employees at the two GM Delphi Chassis plants, has delivered a letter to GM authorizing a strike to begin at 12: 01 a.m. April 11.

The issues are reported to be similar to those that led to the 18-day strike at the Delphi Chassis brakes plants in Dayton, Ohio, last month -- GM's purchase of parts from outside suppliers, health and safety.

James Hagedon, a spokesman for GM's Delphi Chassis division, confirmed yesterday that a strike notice has been sent to GM, but he expressed hope that an agreement could be reached before the deadline.

He said union and management representatives were meeting yesterday.

Mr. Hagedon said a strike at the Kettering plants also could result in shutdowns at other GM plants, which depend on steady supplies of parts to assemble vehicles. The strike in Dayton halted production at 26 of GM's 28 active North American assembly plants, including its Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari van plant in Southeast Baltimore.

The spokesman said the plants in Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, are the only suppliers of shock absorbers and struts for GM vehicles.

About 85 percent of the plants' output goes to GM, said Mr. Hagedon. The remainder goes to other automakers.

"Here we go again," said Dan Quickel, assistant general manager of Marada Industries Inc., a Westminster company that makes structural parts for GM's Broening Highway plant.

Marada and other area parts manufacturers supply the Broening Highway plant with seats, dashboards and other components on a just-in-time inventory system.

When the Dayton strike forced the shutdown of GM's Baltimore plant, Marada and three parts suppliers in Belcamp were forced to curtail their own production and lay off some workers.

Rodney A. Trump, president of United Auto Workers Local 239, which represents about 3,100 workers at the GM plant here, said workers were taking the threat on another strike in stride.

"It's part of our work life," Mr. Trump said.

Pub Date: 4/03/96

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