Nearly 50,000 General Motors workers across the U.S. have walked off the job in protest, including employees in Rochester. Their union, United Auto Workers, is in a dispute with the company over a new deal.

Nearly 50,000 General Motors workers across the U.S. have walked off the job in protest, including employees in Rochester. Their union, United Auto Workers, is in a dispute with the company over a new deal.

Workers are picketing outside the GM plant on Lexington Avenue near Mount Read Boulevard. They are part of the first major auto worker protest in more than 10 years. The strike has shutdown more than 50 manufacturing plants and warehouses across the country.

The union says both sides are far apart on talks for a new four-year contract, including on the main issues of health care and pay.

GM claims it has made good offers, including wage increases and $7 billion worth of factory investments that would create hundreds of new jobs.

Workers from Ford and Fiat Chrysler are joining GM employees on the picket lines. They are working under contract extensions but any deal the union makes with GM will be used as a template in the future.

The last strike against GM happened in 2007. It cost the company more than $300 million a day. Industry experts believe GM has enough vehicles on dealer lots to last about 77 days at the current sales pace.

Contract talks are expected to pick back up at 10 a.m. Monday. The local union chapter has announced a press conference for 5 p.m. at the plant on Lexington Avenue.