We had the TV on at 11:00AM EST expecting to see CNN, MSNBC and Fox News providing up to the minute coverage of the UAW's potential strike in the wake of failed contract negotiations with General Motors. Only CNN is covering the strike at this point, and it's 11:15 now. CNN, however, has been confused as to whether a strike is actually happening. They've been running live footage of vehicles streaming out of GM's Warren plant while passing picketers waving signs that read "UAW on Strike". Looks like a strike to us. The Detroit News, however, is not so confused, and is reporting that 73,000 workers at 59 plants were told yesterday that if they didn't hear otherwise by 11AM EST, they were to walk off the job. Word never came that an agreement had been reached, so GM's entire UAW workforce is walking off the job right now. The question remaining now is clear: how long can GM last?

We'll bring you more updates throughout the day as these historical events that could radically alter the automotive industry unfold.

UPDATE 8: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced it will honor the UAW's picket lines and not cross them to deliver parts and cars to various plants.

UPDATE 7: Is it a token strike? Some analysts surmise that the UAW is holding a token strike to (ironically) obtain job security from GM, which the automaker, of course, can't guarantee anyway until this contract is finalized. That's a nasty Catch 22.

UPDATE 6: Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove will respond to news of the strike at 1:30PM EST. We'll let you know what he says. Read about his pessimistic response here.

UPDATE 5: GM has released an official statement (read in entirety after jump) in which it says "We are disappointed in the UAW's decision to call a national strike." Understatement of the Year nominee, right there, folks.

UPDATE 4: Kickingtires.net reports that GM has 67 days of inventory left at its current rate of sales. Popular vehicles like the Buick Enclave, however, have only a 26-day supply left.

UPDATE 3: Today would be a good day to have forums, but since we don't have them (yet), check out the forums at the Detroit Free Press where six pages of heated discussion are already underway.

UPDATE 2: Watch GM's stock price throughout the day over at BloggingStocks (GM). As of 11:21AM EST, it is up 1.01 (+2.89%) to 35.95.

UPDATE: Automotive News has its report up now, reiterating that UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said he was "shocked and disappointed" by GM's hard line stance during negotiations.



PRESS RELEASE:

GM Statement Regarding UAW Work Stoppage

We are disappointed in the UAW's decision to call a national strike.

The bargaining involves complex, difficult issues that affect the job security of our U.S. work force and the long-term viability of the company. We are fully committed to working with the UAW to develop solutions together to address the competitive challenges facing General Motors.

We will continue focusing our efforts on reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

Visit GM's Manufacturing and Labor Resource web site: www.gmmanufacturing.info

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