Lansing Delta Township to Bring on Third Shift

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Lansing Delta Township will bring on a third shift over the next few months to accomodate rising demand for the crossover vehicles they make.

Over 500 workers, primarily temporary workers, will be added.

Demand for the three crossovers--the Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia, and the Saturn Outlook--is up approximately 300% from June '06 to June '07.

As first shift employees pours out of the plant Monday afternoon, there's enthusiasm, pride, and optimism about a plant that will finally churn out as many vehicles as it can.

"Great news!" says Joe Manor, "I hope it lasts forever."

"I think it says more about he members of the local than the cars," brags Joe Vermillion, a team leader at the plant.

GM calls the decision demand-driven, citing sales numbers for June that show 300 percent growth in sales for the new crossover segment. The Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia, and the Saturn Outlook are all built at Delta Township.

"It means that there is a lot of excitement about our new products out there," says GM spokesperson Heidi Magyar.

The third shift was planned, then scrapped in May. Many of the temporary employees who'll be hired now had worked here in preparation for the growth that didn't happen. Union President Doug Rademacher says ramped up production should mean growth now even outside GM.

"With these jobs here, there will also be an increase in need of the supplier groups--so it means lots of jobs," Rademacher says.

The news comes as tensions are high over contract talks that began Monday with GM in Detroit.

"We'll take the good news right now and go with that," Craig Johnson, a team leader and union VP, says."

For most at Delta, fear is playing second fiddle tonight to a celebration here at home.

"It's a good day to see when you add a third shift," Magyar says.

The temporary employees who'll be hired over the next couple of weeks will be union members but will not have benefits. It's not clear if and when they might become permanent employees.

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