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General Motors Lays Off 350
Feb. 20, 2004
Cuts Production at Linden, N.J., Plant

By Ken Tarbous, Home News Tribune, East Brunswick,
N.J. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Feb. 19--LINDEN, N.J. - General Motors Corp. laid off 350 union workers yesterday as the automaker scaled back the assembly line at its Linden plant, according to the company.

Workers at the plant, off routes 1 and 9, were placed on layoff status when the factory closed for two weeks starting Jan. 30 to modify the production line to lower output, Dan Flores, a GM spokesman based in Michigan, said yesterday.

When production resumed Monday, some of those workers remained out. Fewer than 1,000 workers remain at the factory, approximately 850 hourly and 130 salaried, he said.

"We basically cut the production in half at the plant," Flores said "The impact on the employees would be addressed per terms of the GM-UAW national contract," Flores said. "That basically guarantees them the wage and benefit protection."

The United Auto Workers of America Local 595, which represents workers at the plant, did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

Based on their specific scenarios, employees either receive a portion of their wages plus state unemployment compensation or the normal weekly pay as guaranteed by the company's agreement with the UAW, Flores said. He did not know how many fall into each category. Workers were notified late last year or early this year of the impending cuts, he added.

Flores emphasized that the workers have not lost their jobs and can remain on layoff status or apply for other positions within the corporation.

"Impacted employees aren't out in the cold, out on the street," he said. "They're still GM hourly employees, they're just not on an active status."

GM has been running one shift in Linden for the past few years. Lower consumer demand for the pickups and SUVs built there led to the cutback, Flores said. The company will produce about 215 vehicles per day at the plant.

Last year, GM reached a contract agreement with the UAW that keeps the Linden factory open until at least mid-2007.

Flores said he could not speculate on future production at the plant, adding that it depends on the consumer.

"From a GM perspective, we're not interested in shrinking our business, we want to grow our business." he said. "The last thing we like to do is to cut production. There would be nothing better than to run this plant at full capacity."

GM builds midsize pickups and midsize sport utility vehicles in Linden, specifically the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma pickup trucks and the Chevy Blazer SUV for U.S. markets and the GMC Jimmy for sale in Canada.

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Blazer @ Yahoo! Autos
 

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Why is this factory being kept open until 2007?
We already have a Blazer replacement, and an S-10 replacement.
What is the advantage to still producing these old vehicles, which to the best of my knowledge, have much lower profit margins than the new ones?
 

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I really don't know. I shook my head in disbelief at this.... My guess is that GM has to pay those workers whether they are producing or not - or had to get the agreement to avoid a strike. Certainly they aren't continuing to build Blazers because of off the charts hot demand for them. My dealer only has 2 on his lot and they've been there for a while.

I'm all for those guys keeping their jobs, but if I was them I'd be pushing GM to make a new or updated product there, not hoping in vain that the Blazer and S-10 will keep selling... :blink:

I guess it might cost more to update the old S-10 plant than it would to build a new one. I wonder what the current Colorado plant was building before...
 

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my father works at that plant in Linden and GM has given him a sweet deal for now.. he earns his regular salary for 40 hours a week not even to go to work.. he does community service every day, which was approved by GM, and gets a paycheck from the company.. he doesnt have to go to the plant at all and he gets a check from The General. hopefully before 2007 is here they will have received a new product to replace that ancient Blazer.. i also used to spend my summers in that sweat shop as a temporary employee..
 

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Originally posted by SHUJeremy@Feb 21 2004, 08:36 PM
my father works at that plant in Linden and GM has given him a sweet deal for now.. he earns his regular salary for 40 hours a week not even to go to work.. he does community service every day, which was approved by GM, and gets a paycheck from the company.. he doesnt have to go to the plant at all and he gets a check from The General. hopefully before 2007 is here they will have received a new product to replace that ancient Blazer.. i also used to spend my summers in that sweat shop as a temporary employee..
Unfortunately, this will not help GM from a competitive standpoint. This is the exact kinda crap that sacrifices manufacturing jobs in the longterm. I know it's your father, but come on! And I'll be even more honest: I'm definitely not willing to pay more for a car to support this kind of activity.

If I don't go to work or meet certain fairly rigorous productivity requirements, I don't get paid. Period. That's the way the real world operates, and I can't say I blame my employer. In the end, it saves both of our jobs.
 

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Originally posted by SHUJeremy@Feb 21 2004, 03:36 PM
my father works at that plant in Linden and GM has given him a sweet deal for now.. he earns his regular salary for 40 hours a week not even to go to work.. he does community service every day, which was approved by GM, and gets a paycheck from the company.. he doesnt have to go to the plant at all and he gets a check from The General. hopefully before 2007 is here they will have received a new product to replace that ancient Blazer.. i also used to spend my summers in that sweat shop as a temporary employee..
...or Linden will close. GM has too many plants and Linden is not only under utilized, but it's not close to any related plant. How many other truck plants does GM operate east of Ohio?
 

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We had a couple hundred people go to Linden when we cut back to 1 shift. We now have about 300 people in the JOBS BANK and 100 that is still on unemployment. We went from 2400 people on 2 shifts down to 1800 still on payroll with only 1000 working in the plant on 1 shift. So I know what you are saying.
I had read that they are still making the Blazer because the average price of a Trailblazer is $28,000 and you can get a Blazer for $20,000 and are still selling.
The Colorado and Canyon are built in Shrevesport . They built a new plant beside the old 1 for the new trucks. The workers would build S-10 and GMC for a couple days in the old plant , that go across the street and build the new 1 the rest of the week untill they hit full production..
Just courious, how much time does your dad have?
 

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The Ford plant, near the Chevy plant is also closing its doors after 60 some years. I just saw it on the news. They made the Ranger right across from the S10.
 

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They're importing that junk 3.4L iron block OHV Equinox engine from China and the 3.5L in the Malibu's no better: made in Mexico. I'm sure Linden will close. They killed Tarrytown, NY and probably Tonawanda, NY engine plant is next. Strang that Nox wasn't built in Spring Hill with the Vue? Or if Tonawanda makes 3.4L engines and it's near Ontario, why weren't those engines used in the Nox?
GM's outsourcing plan has begun.
 

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first of all i would like to say long live the blazer. i hope they never die. what do you think is the cause for gms sacrafices. well my guess is (free trade) with so many imports out there coming over here. we are being slaughtered. do you think its that easy for us to send our cars over seas? well its not with all the mark ups you would end up paying as much as much as three times as much in some countrys as we do for american made cars check into it if you dont believe me. we should do the same thing to those that are doing to us. if you feel that i am wrong then tell me what opinions are.
 
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