The biggest union battle appears to be shaping up at General Motors Corporation, which industry analysts expect to announce still more plant closings in the next year or two. Compounding the situation at GM, the automaker's shareholders have approved a plan to sharply increase the pension benefits of 3,350 top corporate executives. That includes chairman Roger Smith, whose pension will jump from the current level of $600,000 a year to nearly $1.2 million just as he retires in late July.

``GM has had an almost uncanny ability to make announcements in the spring of auto talks years that get the UAW members extremely upset,'' says Harley Shaiken, a labor specialist with the University of California at San Diego.

Suggests auto analyst Ron Glantz, of Dean Witter Reynolds: ``I would expect at least a two-week strike at GM just to get out the bad blood.''

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