GM faces more strikes
Workers at the General Motors full-sized truck assembly plant in Pontiac, Mich., are expected to be back on the job this week after a nearly three-month strike. But the company faces two more strike deadlines on Tuesday, July 22, that could have a more crippling effect.
Poised to strike are 2,800 employees at a plant in Warren, Mich., that produces transmissions for mid-sized and luxury cars and minivans. Also ready to strike are 2,900 workers at a Delphi lighting plant in Anderson, Ind., that makes components for most GM assembly plants.
At Pontiac, local union president Ron Miller said GM has agreed to pay at least $10 million to settle more than 3,000 grievances the local filed against the company. Miller also said the plant gained more than 500 workers under the settlement that was scheduled for a vote late Friday afternoon.
The strike prompted GM to move prototype work for the trucks from Pontiac to an assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario. But Miller says that does not mean any reduced work for Pontiac.
Chrysler lemon decision due
California's New Motor Vehicle Board said last Thursday, July 17, that it will issue a decision within 30 days on Chrysler Corp.'s appeal of sanctions levied by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
In October 1996, the department slapped Chrysler with an unprecedented suspension that would prohibit the company from supplying vehicles to its dealers in California for 45 days. The suspension was the culmination of three years of hearings regarding claims that Chrysler resold 116 lemon-law buybacks in California without the proper disclosure.
Chrysler appealed the suspension to the New Motor Vehicle Board. If the board upholds the suspension, Chry-sler can appeal to the California Superior Court of Appeals.
1st Merchants could get aid
Ugly Duckling Corp. last week tossed subprime lender First Merchants Acceptance Corp. a lifeline in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and proposed a new loan agreement.
First Merchants of Deerfield, Ill., filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors July 11 because it was in default to a group of banks. First Merchants finances mostly used cars sold by dealers in 37 states.
Phoenix-based Ugly Duckling is offering to buy out the other creditors. It provided First Merchants with a $5 million line of credit, which the Delaware court approved last week. A hearing is tentatively set for next month to approve the second half of a proposed $10 million line of credit.
Ugly Duckling operates a publicly held chain of 'buy here, pay here' used-car dealerships, and underwrites, finances and services retail installment contracts.