Workers began a strike against General Motors early today after America’s biggest car maker failed to reach a deal over pay and conditions with the United Auto Workers union.
Almost 50,000 workers are due to take part in the strike, the first major stoppage at GM since 2007.
In the 2007 strike, a two-day stoppage cost $300m.
The union’s previous four-year contract with GM expired this weekend, and the two sides had been holding negotiations on wide-ranging issues, including wages, healthcare, profit sharing and job security.
Also, the union has been fighting to stop GM from closing car assembly plants in Ohio and Michigan.
Earlier on Sunday 850 maintenance workers at five GM facilities walked off the job on strike.
GM argues that its wages and benefits are among the best in the industry. The carmaker said in a statement that its offer to the UAW during talks included more than $7bn in new investments, more jobs, and pay and benefits increases.