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UPDATE: GM Auto Workers in Ky. Vote to Strike, Hope to Avoid Walkout

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Workers at the General Motors plant in Kentucky that assembles Corvettes have voted to authorize a strike over lingering safety concerns.  But a local union leader says he hopes the dispute can be resolved without a walkout.

   Union members voted to give union leaders the green light to call a strike if necessary. About 800 union workers were eligible to cast ballots.
   Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164, says the issues involved include safety and quality control.

   He says there have been several "near misses" that could have led to serious injuries for assembly line workers at the Bowling Green plant.

   Renaud says he hopes the strike-authorization vote leads to stepped up negotiations.

   The plant says worker safety and quality of its products are at the forefront of every decision. It says it's confident management and the union can work together.

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