Thousands laid off during GM Delta Township plant shutdown

Supplier plants stopped production too
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT
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DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - Thousands of people in mid-Michigan are temporarily out of work tonight because General Motors shut down the Delta Township plant. It’s offline for at least two weeks because of the semiconductor shortage.

That means supplier plants stopped production too.

“I worry about how long these things are going to happen,” said Jason Peek, who works the assembly line at GM’s Delta Township plant.

GM stopped production at five North American plants for two weeks starting Monday because they don’t have enough microchips to put in cars. The Lansing Delta Township plant, which makes the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave, is on the list.

Peek was already laid off earlier this year for a week because of the chip shortage. Even if he does get back to work in two weeks like GM is saying will happen, he’s not sure how long it will last.

“The problem hasn’t been solved. We have a chip shortage now. They hope to have the parts in two weeks. They hope to have everything, but we don’t know. These on and off layoffs or continued layoffs, I’m really worried,” said Peek.

Peek said the longer the layoffs or the more he’s laid off, the more worried he gets.

“You don’t plan for it so you don’t the money saved up, you don’t have plans for your children saved up,” he said.

The shutdown puts more than GM employees out of work. UAW Local 724 represents most GM suppliers in the Lansing area.

Union president Todd Collins said thousands of his members are laid off too.

“Obviously we know the problems with the unemployment system. It’s even harder for them to work, go back on layoff, work, go back on layoff. It’s a struggle for them,” said Collins, UAW Local 724 President.

Collins said it’s hard relying on other businesses to keep people working.

“Suppliers go down immediately as well. We’re faced with that every day we go into the shop,” said Collins.

“It’s out of our control. We’re at the mercy of those countries and those companies that make it, manufacture those chips,” said Peek.

GM’s Lansing Grand River plant was shut down for six weeks because of the shortage. The microchip shortage is expected to last into next year.

About 80% of the world’s chips are made in Taiwan, South Korea and China.

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