FLINT, Mich., June 12 -- Nearly 51,000 General Motors workers are idled as the effects of a United Auto Workers strike in Flint, Mich. , ripple through the automaker's North American operations. The week-old strike at GM's Flint Metal Plant has shut down 12 North American assembly plants and idled workers at more than two dozen parts plants in 10 states, Canada and Mexico. Virtually all 32 GM assembly plants in North America could be forced to shut down for lack of parts within days. GM employs about 296,500 hourly workers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Five assembly plants were idled today. They include Baltimore, Md., which makes the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari midsize vans and the Pontiac, Michigan East and Fort Wayne, Ind., plants that make Chevrolet and GMC C/K pickups. The portion of the Janesville, Wis., plant that makes the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and the GMC Suburban and Yukon was shut down. The medium-duty truck line is still operating. The Oshawa, Ontario, II car plant is working the second shift Friday but has told employees not to report on Monday. The plant makes the Buick Century and Regal. The largest partial closings were at the Mexico West electrical and Delnosa Electronics plants in Mexico, where more than 10,000 workers were turned Thursday away because of lack of supplies. The UAW accelerated its campaign against the automaker Thursday when 5,800 UAW members walked out of the Delphi East plant in Flint, Mich., which makes parts for nearly every GM vehicle made in North America.
Talks between UAW and General Motors officials ended late today but are expected to resume Saturday morning. GM had no comment on the progress. The Detroit Free Press says the situation has all the signs of becoming GM's costliest labor dispute since 1996, when a 17-day strike by workers at two brake plants in Dayton, Ohio, cost the company $900 million. ---
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