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News stories tagged with "gm"

GM workers wave to supportive vehicles yesterday.
GM workers wave to supportive vehicles yesterday.

On the UAW picket line in Massena

It's back to work this morning for tens of thousands of rank-and-file members of the United Auto Workers. Union negotiators reached what's being called an historic agreement on a three-year contract with General Motors. Details are still sketchy. But both sides confirm the deal would create a trust fund to cover GM's $50 billion retiree health care obligation. A person briefed on the contract tells The Associated Press that GM would pay about 70% of the massive fund. It would be administered by the union. UAW president Ron Gettelfinger says the contract will protect jobs. The contract must be reviewed by local union presidents and then voted on. The deal sends 382 members of UAW Local 465 back to work in Massena this morning. But they still face an uncertain future likely not affected by the new contract. GM announced several months ago it will close its operations in Massena next year, laying off almost 500 people. David Sommerstein visited the picket line yesterday, as the rank and file were hunkering down for what they thought was going to be a long strike.  Go to full article

Massena GM workers join national strike

General Motors workers in Massena are among the thousands nationwide who walked off the job this morning. United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger says the union launched the strike after what he described as ``one-sided negotiations.'' The union is seeking more job security and better benefits. The picketing comes as General Motors prepares to close its Powertrain plant in Massena next year. David Sommerstein spoke with UAW local 465 president Tony Arquette Monday afternoon.  Go to full article

Spitzer wrangles $7 million from GM for Massena

After weeks of negotiations, General Motors has agreed to spend more money helping Massena recover from the closure of the Powertrain plant. The deal was hammered out by Governor Eliot Spitzer and includes provisions to provide economic planning assistance and an engineering study to help find a new use for the factory. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Gov. Spitzer spoke with each person, including Kim Smith...
Gov. Spitzer spoke with each person, including Kim Smith...

Spitzer offers Massena hope, but few details

Governor Eliot Spitzer offered sympathy and hope to about 100 General Motors workers and their families in Massena yesterday. But he had few details about what the future would hold. Spitzer's visit to the United Auto Workers Local 465 union hall comes a little more than a week after General Motors announced it will shutter its Powertrain plant in Massena by the end of 2008. Almost 500 people will lose their jobs. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
State Senator Jim Wright speaks to the crowded conference room in Massena's town hall.
State Senator Jim Wright speaks to the crowded conference room in Massena's town hall.

Lots of support, few specifics for Massena

On Monday, GM confirmed it would close its engine plant in Massena. By the end of next year, the industrial town on the St Lawrence River will lose almost 500 high-paying jobs. Yesterday, elected officials from across the North Country crammed in to a packed conference room in Massena's town hall to show their support for the affected autoworkers and the area's future. Jonathan Brown was there.  Go to full article

Leaders strategize post-GM Massena

State lawmakers are making a last ditch effort to save the General Motors Powertrain plant. They'll huddle with union leaders in Massena tomorrow. But as David Sommerstein reports, the talks will focus on life after GM.

CORRECTION: Lieutenant Governor David Paterson is not visiting Massena today.  Go to full article
GM's Power Train plant near Massena
GM's Power Train plant near Massena

Local UAW chief says GM decision reflects "broken" global economy

Early this morning, Brian Mann caught up with local United Auto Worker president, Tony Arquiett, who spent the last twenty-four hours meeting with workers and union members at the Powertrain plant. Arquiett says this news should alarm all Americans.  Go to full article

GM decision threatens one in twenty St. Lawrence County jobs

Reaction to GM's announcement trickled in through the afternoon on Monday, as people in Massena tried to digest the news. Local officials and economic development leaders warned the community to brace for a difficult transition. North Country assemblyman Darry Aubertine, a Democrat, called GM's decision "irresponsible." Congressman John McHugh described the announcement as "a heartbreaking development for the workers and the entire community." McHugh accused GM of "rejecting input from government officials" and "showling little desire to work out a mutually beneficial solution." Karen St. Hilaire is executive director of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. She says roughly one in twenty jobs in the county have been put at risk. St. Lawrence County's tax base will also take a huge hit.  Go to full article
Downtown Massena
Downtown Massena

Hydropower key to Massena recovery

The sharpest pain from closure of the General Motors Powertrain plant will be felt in its home community, Massena, an industrial town on the St. Lawrence River. General Motors has been a fixture and a driving economic force there for five decades. Town Supervisor Gary Edwards said his community was reeling, but would recover. Edwards says the first step toward a come-back will be locking up the 15 megawatts of low-cost local hydropower now being used by GM. He told Jonathan Brown that keeping that cheap electricity in the North Country will be a struggle.  Go to full article

Dread mixes with hope after GM announcement

Jonathan Brown spent Monday in Massena, talking with the people who will bear the brunt of this news. He spoke with Jim Heidi, a GM retiree, along with Darren Temper, an auto mechanic at Sears, and Cindy Hurlbaugh, who owns a flower shop in Massena, Rob Higgins, a school teacher, Joel Ogner, who works for the New York Power Authority, and Mike Viscovich, who works at a car dealership.  Go to full article

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