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Union votes to strike at General Motors’ US plants

The United Auto Workers union said Sunday that its 49,000 workers at US General Motors plants would strike just before midnight because talks on a new contract had broken down. About 200 plant-level union leaders unanimously backed a walkout during a meeting in Detroit. Union leaders apparently weren’t swayed by GM’s offer to make new products at or near two of the four plants it had been planning to close, according to someone briefed on the matter. ‘‘We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most,’’ union vice president Terry Dittes said, referring to union concessions that helped GM survive bankruptcy in 2009. ‘‘Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members.’’ It’s still possible bargainers could hammer out an agreement, but union spokesman Brian Rothenberg said that’s unlikely. In a statement, GM said its offer included more than $7 billion in US factory investment and 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees. GM would not give a precise number. The investments would be made at factories in four states. The statement also said the company offered ‘‘best in class wages and benefits,’’ improved profit-sharing, and a payment of $8,000 to each worker upon ratification. The offer included wage or lump sum increases in all four years of the deal, plus ‘‘nationally leading’’ health benefits. If there is a strike, it would shut down 53 GM facilities, including 33 manufacturing sites and 22 parts warehouses. On Friday, union leaders extended contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


737 Max crashes prompt Boeing board to call for safety changes

For five months, a committee of Boeing’s board has been interviewing employees, safety experts, and executives at other industrial organizations in an attempt to understand how the aerospace giant could build safer airplanes. The panel is expected to deliver its findings this week and call for several changes in the company’s structure, said three people briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. The recommendations will also call for the creation of new groups focused on safety and encourage the company to consider making cockpit changes in future airplanes to accommodate a new generation of pilots, some of whom may have less training. The committee did not investigate the two crashes of Boeing’s 737 Max jet, but its findings represent the company’s most direct effort yet to reform its internal processes after the accidents, which killed 346 people. At Boeing, top engineers report primarily to business leaders, and secondarily to the chief engineer; that could now change. Another recommendation calls for establishing a safety group that will work across the company. It would work to ensure the company’s various efforts have adequate independence and are working together and sharing information. — NEW YORK TIMES



Average US price of gasoline down 3 cents per gallon

The average US price of regular-grade gasoline has dropped 3 cents per gallon over the past three weeks, to $2.63 — 20 cents lower than in mid-July. However, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that she expects the trend to reverse after Saturday’s drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s key oil facility. There was no immediate impact on global oil prices from the attacks, as markets were closed for the weekend, but analysts anticipate a price spike on Monday. The highest average US price is $3.62 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest is $2.11, in Baton Rouge, La. — ASSOCIATED PRESS