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872 workers losing jobs at Saturn plant
'Indefinite' layoffs - nearly 75% of work force - start in June
LULADEY B. TADESSE
News Journal - Delawareonline.com
05/21/2004

General Motors Corp. will lay off 872 workers at the Saturn plant near Newport next month, nearly three-quarters of its assembly line work force.

GM said the "permanent reduction" of workers will begin as early as June 7, according to a letter the company filed with the state Department of Labor. On Thursday, GM officials called the layoffs "indefinite" and said they will take place in mid-June.

Some workers could be called back to make the Pontiac Solstice, scheduled for production at the plant next summer, and an unnamed Saturn sports car the following year, said Dan Flores, spokesman for GM Manufacturing. But he did not disclose how many might be called back or when.

David Myers, president of United Auto Workers Local 435, did not return phone calls Thursday.

Laid-off employees receive unemployment benefits and pay equal to 83 percent to 95 percent of their base wages for up to 42 weeks, after which they join the company's jobs bank. Employees in the jobs bank are paid their full salary. The average wage of an assembly line worker at the plant is $26 an hour.

Workers in the jobs bank are eligible for transfer to other GM plants. If an employee refuses four transfer offers, he or she is no longer employed by the company. Workers can remain in the jobs bank until the union contract expires in the fall of 2007.

The layoffs come as GM moves to discontinue the Saturn L-series sedan and wagon this summer, a year earlier than planned. Last year, the plant was shut down for 12 weeks because of weak sales. Also last year, the plant laid off 400 workers as it went to one shift. Some of those workers have since been transferred to other GM plants, including in Baltimore.

The Newport-area plant now employs 1,200 assembly workers and 645 others, including about 500 already in the jobs bank.

"Ultimately, we couldn't justify continuing the product because the market didn't want the product," Flores said.

"We have been left with a strong sense that they are going to bring back workers for the Solstice and more workers for the following model," said Judy McKinney Cherry, of the Delaware Economic Development Office.

Full Article Here: http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/...rkerslosin.html


 

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And they'll get 6 month of unemployment insurance money after GM stops paying them. Kinda kills the incentive to get off of your duff and go find work, doesn't it?
 

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Originally posted by Dodge Drivin' Paul@May 26 2004, 08:57 PM
The problem is people who don't feel the workers are entitled to their SUB when they're laid off.  That's like saying retirees aren't entitled to their pension.  SUB is something that's paid into when the cars are selling and GM's making a healthy profit from them.  Sure, the SUB fund, along with the retirement fund, the benefits, and the worker's wages, are all coming from the company profits..
A buddy of mine got let go last year from a computer company. He got a massive 2 weeks of pay.

No pensions, no "SUB", no frilly stay at home and get paid for half a year stuff.

I'll admit 2 weeks is harsh, but better than contractors who get nothing when they are let go.

Retirement is one thing. Being a 32-year old worker and sitting at home for 9-months with "83% to 95% pay for 42 weeks" is ridiculous.

But we can't be sure what those actual packages are. It said "up to" 42 weeks, so I suppose you might only get 4 weeks and 83% pay if you were a relatively new and young (not that that matters) employee.

I guess it pays to read into the details carefully and not to assume everyone will have 42 weeks and 95 percent pay.
 
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