(SOUNDBITE) (English) STRIKING WORKERS CHANTING:
"What do we want? A contract! When do we want it? Now!"
Striking auto workers formed pre-dawn picket lines outside General Motors plants from Texas to Wisconsin on Monday (September 16).
Midnight marked the start of the United Auto Workers' first nationwide strike in 12 years after the union said negotiations with GM had hit an impasse.
Terry Valenzuela is the president of a UAW local picketing in Arlington.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF UAW LOCAL 276 TERRY VALENZUELA, SAYING:
"We made a lot of concessions when General Motors went through bankruptcy. We are in here every day, working long hours, and helped turn this company around, making record profits."
Workers carrying signs declaring the strike stood outside facilities in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
The UAW wants to stop GM from closing a factory in Lordstown, Ohio, and an assembly plant in Detroit.
GM argues the plant shutdowns are necessary responses to market shifts.
The company says that UAW wages and benefits are expensive compared with non-union auto plants in southern U.S. states
The labor dispute quickly drew political attention.
Donald Trump on Sunday urged both sides to "get together and make a deal."
Democratic presidential primary candidates including Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Kamala Harris all said they supported the striking auto workers.
A strike could quickly shut down GM’s operations across North America and could hurt the broader U.S. economy.
A prolonged stoppage could also prove painful for GM workers, who will have to make do on strike pay of about $250 per week.
Talks between the union and America's No.1 carmaker resumed Monday.