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GM shutdown extension hurts temporary workers

Lansing Delta Township plant shutdown extended to fifth week
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - Thousands of Chevrolet Traverses and Buick Enclaves will continue to sit in Lansing Township. General Motors said it will keep the Lansing Delta Township plant shutdown because of the microchip shortage.

Union leaders said this isn’t great news, especially for temporary workers.

“You can see thousand of vehicles that represents thousands of workers that don’t know what they’re doing, don’t know what’s going on next week,” said Mike Huerta, UAW Local 602 President.

GM shutdown the Delta Township plant July 19 because it doesn’t have enough microchips to finish building cars. Since it will be more than 30 days when the plant calls people back to work, the temporary workers loose the progress they’ve made.

“It means they will have to start back over when they come back in. They have to work 90 days again to get their health insurance, they’ll have to work the same amount of time to acquire vacation time,” said Jeffery Kosloski, UAW local 602 shop chairman. It’s just a very raw deal for the the temps that have been in there day after day. Sacrificing just like seniority does, working that line everyday doing the same job. No words can ever replace the pain and the shame they’re going to feel right now.”

“They’re trying to sit down and make decisions on what’s going to happen. School year starting, winter coming up, holidays. What’s going to happen, they don’t know,” Huerta said.

Now those temporary workers need to decide if they want to stick it out and apply for their job again or look for something else. Kosloski said the UAW tried to get GM to waive the 30 day gap to keep temporary workers on track to full-time status.

He said those are the people keeping cars coming off the line.

“These temps are our safety net to where we have people that are gone and they’re covering them,” said Kosloski. We can’t build these cars without these temps and the company knows it.”

GM said the microchip shortage is a very and right now it’s taking the shutdowns week by week.

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