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GE Glass Workers Strike

United Electrical Workers Local 751 left their jobs Thursday afternoon to picket the General Electric's Mahoning Glass Plant over vacation time.

NILES, Ohio (AP) - Union workers at a glass manufacturing plant owned by General Electric voted to strike for at least two days over a grievance related to vacation time, the union said.

Members of United Electrical Workers Local 751 walked off the job at 3:30 p.m. Thursday and began picketing outside the General Electric Mahoning Glass Plant in this northeast Ohio city about 10 miles northwest of Youngstown.

Dennis Hayda, union shop steward, said union members are scheduled to vote Saturday on whether to return to their jobs at the plant where workers make glass used for lenses and reflectors in spotlights.

The walkout stems from the scheduled annual shutdown at the plant last July, when the company allowed one employee to be placed on layoff status while other workers were required to use vacation time, Hayda said.

Layoff status should have been granted by seniority but wasn't, a violation of the union's contract, Hayda said.

Jack Fish, GE's vice president for lighting and appliances manufacturing, said in an e-mail that the company was surprised by the walkout.

''The lighting industry is global and extremely competitive, and it does not make sense to engage in action that negatively impacts the Mahoning plant, GE Lighting, and our customers. No one wins in a work stoppage,'' he wrote.

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