GM Confronts Widening Strike

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WARREN, Ohio: Armed with $14.6 billion in cash reserves, General Motors appears ready to fight through a potentially costly series of labor disputes in order to bring its costs in line with Chrysler and Ford even as negotiations continue. Some 8,500 workers at the automaker's Delphi Packard Electric Systems plant went on strike Tuesday over job security and worries that the company may shift more jobs to Mexico. The walkout, coupled with walkouts that began last month, idling 9,400 workers at two other GM plants, could cost the company millions and force plant closures throughout the country, since Delphi produces electronic equipment used in almost all GM vehicles. A strike at two Dayton, Ohio, brake plants last year virtually halted North American production and cost GM $900 million.