The United Auto Workers union on Thursday told General Motors Corp. it may strike a key parts plant near Milwaukee if a local contract is not reached by next Thursday night.
A strike at the plant, which makes catalytic converters, could force GM to shut down assembly plants across the United States and Canada, much as it did last year when the UAW struck two brake plants in Ohio.
“If the plant went down, a good portion of GM’s North American capacity would shut down in less than a week,” said Sean McAlinden, an auto industry expert at the University of Michigan.
The Delphi Energy & Engine Management Systems plant in Oak Creek, Wis., makes converters for a wide range of GM cars and trucks in the United States and overseas. McAlinden estimated at least half of all GM cars and trucks built with converters worldwide get the pollution-control devices from that plant.