GM production workers will be unpaid during work pause
General Motors Assembly Fort Wayne Plant will shut down production next week due to a shortage of steering shafts. As a result, production workers will have to file for unemployment to get paid for the week.
This work stoppage is not related to ongoing union negotiations between GM and the United Autoworkers union. UAW recently announced its membership recently overwhelmingly voted to give union leadership authority to call for a strike against Detroit-based car companies.
Assembly Fort Wayne said this production pause was due to a part shortage that is affecting plants around the world. Jeff Benzing, the Plant Senior Communications Manager, said the pause will force most production workers into a temporary layoff.
“They’ll be on unemployment,” Benzing said. “They get laid off. There will be some people working, but there will be some on layoff as well.”
Rich LeTourneau, UAW Local 2209 chairman, said filing for unemployment will create problems for workers.
“Unemployment in Indiana makes it very difficult,” LeTourneau said. “It’s not worker-friendly. They’ve got no respect for the workers in Indiana up there at the Statehouse, zero. The Unemployment Office has zero respect for its workers in this state. That’s a fact.”
LeTourneau said the steering shaft shortage stemmed from the production plant relocating.
Benzing said an assembly plant in Mexico has been shut down for two weeks because of the same part shortage. Assembly Fort Wayne said production should resume the day after Labor Day.