Friday, October 17, 2008

GM hourly layoffs hit two Michigan plants!Getting Ready For Chrysler?

Is this a sign of General Motors getting ready to buy Chrysler?

Making massive job cuts again!

Heres the report from the Detroit News:

GM hourly layoffs hit two Michigan plants

Pontiac assembly plant will drop 700 workers; Detroit-Hamtramck will lose 500 employees.

General Motors Corp. will lay off about 1,600 hourly workers at three assembly plants, citing the reduced demand for many products, the automaker said Thursday.

The previously unannounced job cuts will include 700 workers at GM's Pontiac assembly plant; about 400 hourly workers at its Wilmington, Del., assembly plant; and 500 at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, GM spokesman Tony Sapienza said.

At the Pontiac assembly plant, which produces the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, 700 of the plant's 1,200 hourly workers will be laid off as GM reduces plant output from 55 trucks per hour to 24 trucks per hour. The cuts will take effect Feb. 2, Sapienza said.

At Detroit-Hamtramck -- the plant that builds the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS -- production will slow to 38 vehicles per hour from 56. Production has fallen sharply there this year, down 34 percent. Those cuts will be effective Jan. 12, Sapienza said. A UAW official at Local 22 said the precise number of layoffs won't be known until January.

In Wilmington, the plant that builds the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and Opel Roadster, the work force will be reduced from two shifts to one on Dec. 8, affecting 400 hourly jobs, he said. The plant built 1,350 vehicles last month, down from 2,959 in September 2007. Production has fallen 49.5 percent through the first nine months.

Sapienza said the UAW was notified of the layoffs on Sept. 29.

Earlier this week, GM announced a series of measures to speed up production cuts, including closing ahead of schedule its Janesville, Wis., and Moraine, Ohio, assembly plants on Dec. 23. The company had previously said it would close the two plants by 2010. Janesville has 1,200 hourly workers and Moraine about 1,100.

GM also announced it would close its Grand Rapids stamping plant by the end of 2009. That plant, which is in Wyoming, Mich., employs 1,500 people.

In total, GM is cutting 5,200 hourly workers in closing and making cuts at the six plants, or about 8 percent of the hourly work force.

GM closed its Doraville, Ga. Assembly plant on Sept. 29, eliminating 1,200 jobs.

GM's U.S. sales are off 18 percent through September, to 2.4 million vehicles, down from 2.9 million vehicles over the same period in 2007.

The U.S. auto industry had its worst month in September, selling less than 1 million vehicles in a month for the first time since 1993.

Auto sales are off 13 percent this year industrywide, and some analysts predict that October could be the worst auto sales month since 1983, on tougher lending standards and mounting concerns about the economy.

GM is cutting costs by $10 billion by the end of 2009 as part of a plan to boost liquidity by $15 billion.

The automaker lost $19 billion in the first six months of the year and is expected to report a significant third quarter loss in the coming weeks.

GM also is in the process of cutting 20 percent of its salaried spending, which will require the reduction of about 15 percent, or 5,100 salaried jobs.

The company made enhancement retirement package offers to older employees -- and in some cases offered up to six months salary as incentive -- to retire early. All of those who accept packages will leave GM by Nov. 1.

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