Thursday, June 05, 2008

The 1998 Flint Strike

On June 5, 1998, workers at the Flint Metal Center went out on strike.
The overriding issue is outsourcing-transferring work to low-wage or non-union shops in this country and abroad. Through plant closings and consolidations, speed-up, technological improve ments and increased overtime, GM has eliminated hundreds of thousands of union jobs over the last two decades.

Workers stayed on strike for 59 days, eventually costing GM more than $2 billion dollars, because the Metal Center and Delphi East (which also went out on strike over the same issues)supplied parts for 16 assembly plants--the result of GM's (then) new reliance on "just in time" parts supply. A more thorough examination of the implications of this strike is undertaken by geographer Andy Herod (warning: large pdf file).

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