FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC and AP) — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike early Monday as contract talks with General Motors broke down.
Union members walked out of factories and set up picket lines at 33 plants across the nation as well as 22 parts warehouses. That included the sidewalks near the Fort Wayne Assembly, where UAW members greeted motorists with strike signs Monday morning.
The striking workers took positions along Lafayette Center Road and at several other locations near the factory.
The plant employs about 4,000 people — making it one of the largest in the region. An extended shutdown would also likely impact businesses that supply parts to the plant.
This is the first strike involving the plant since 2007. Four years ago, a last-minute deal averted a walkout.
The contract that expired over the weekend had been in effect since that agreement took shape.
UAW Vice President Terry Dittes says a strike is the union’s last resort because both sides are far apart in bargaining over a new four-year contract, including on issues like health care and fair wages.
But GM says it has made substantial offers, including higher wages and $7 billion worth of factory investments that would create hundreds of new jobs.
Bargaining was scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday.