Saturn Strike Would Mean Total GM Shutdown

The strike at two Flint, Mich., automotive-parts plants that has idled 179,000 workers at 25 General Motors assembly plants and more than 100 GM parts plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico now is threatening to close the company's fabled Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., the only GM plant in the U.S. or Canada still producing cars.

A weekend strike authorization vote, under terms of the Saturn contract, could lead to a shutdown and pickets within five days. The 7,200 workers of United Auto Workers local 1853 -- which just four months ago voted overwhelmingly to keep their pay-for-performance contract -- say the company shortchanged their most recent quarterly bonus and is excluding them from product and product development decisions. In addition, workers are unhappy about having to use Japanese spark plugs in Saturn cars to replace plugs made at the Delphi plant in Flint.

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