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More than 12,000 General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp. employees represented by the United Auto Workers today walked off the job at factories in Indiana and Michigan.

More than 7,000 UAW hourly workers struck at GM's truck operations and Pontiac East assembly plant in Pontiac, where GM builds about one-third of its full-size pickup trucks.

About 5,700 hourly workers walked out at Chrysler's transmission plant in Kokomo, Ind. They want Chrysler to commit to producing a new generation of transmissions at their plant.

The Chrysler strike could be the more damaging of the two, as the Kokomo plant makes almost all the automatic transmissions for Chrysler vehicles. A shutdown would quickly idle many other Chrysler assembly plants around the country.

(In the past, strikes at GM facilities have not affected the automaker's Western New York plants for several days).

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