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Auto workers go on strike against General Motors in Western New York and around the nation

Posted at 4:17 AM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 07:39:35-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP Modified) — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike early Monday, including a few thousand in Western New York, 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. Workers gathered with signs outside of the Tonawanda Powertrain facility on River Road around midnight and began picketing.

"One of our mottos is 'when we fight we win,' and we will be fighting now," said UAW Local 774 President JR Baker. "Nothing will move 'til we get what we want."

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.