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Contract Talks Drag as Deadline Approaches

Will union dig in for battle at Ford?

by on Sep.07, 2011

Workers on a GM assembly plant in Flint. The domestic giant could be targeted first as contract talks come down to the wire - but a strike is barred by law.

Talks between the United Auto Workers Union and Detroit’s three automakers have slowed in recent days even as workers at Ford voted in favor of a strike and UAW officials brushed aside reports it has elected to focus on General Motors as its target as its contracts expire Sept. 14.

Michele Martin, UAW spokeswoman, said in an e-mail the union had not picked a target to focus on yet after several reports surfaced indicating the union had decided to concentrate on GM in a bid to win a contract that could then be used as a pattern for a settlement with Ford and Chrysler.

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Meanwhile, negotiations with all three automakers are moving slowly, according to those familiar with the talks. Sources at the three automakers indicated the negotiations are bogging down and in places have not gotten much beyond the subcommittee level.

UAW President Bob King, however, said in a television interview over the weekend he thought the talks were going well. The negotiations involve new contracts covering more than 112,000 workers at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

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