According to The Detroit Free Press, GM recently sought to hire more workers at Fort Wayne Assembly, which builds the light duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The UAW wanted GM to fill the positions with existing part-time workers, who would be converted to full-time under the agreement, but GM says their limited seniority meant they were not eligible for full-time employment with the company. Rich LeTourneau, chairman of Local 2209, told The Detroit Free Press that GM said if “we can’t come to a temp agreement, they will be forced to hire transfers on layoff from Hamtramck,” and let go of the temp workers.
“We had some conditions where they had to hire some of these people, but they refused to hires them,” said LeTourneau. “We have 178 people retiring by March 1 and GM has no plan to fill those jobs. They rejected our offer to fill them with conversions of temps.”
GM recently converted about 930 of its U.S. workers to full-time status, 148 of which were located at Fort Wayne Assembly. The automaker is also expected to hire on more temporary workers as full-time in the coming months. In an email sent to The Free Press, GM spokesman David Barnas said the company was willing to keep the Fort Wayne temp workers it laid off, but they simply “could not reach an agreement with the UAW,” over their employment status.
“We appreciate the hard work of our employees and their contributions to GM,” Barnas said of the now-terminated employees. “We certainly wish them well in their future endeavors.”
The terminated employees had been with the company from eight months to two years, the UAW told The Free Press. The union also said the employees’ temporary letters expire Monday and that most left over the weekend.
GM is currently trying to replenish its pickup stock after the 40-day UAW strike caused a shortage of the automaker’s hot-selling and highly profitable light duty pickup trucks. In December it was reported that Fort Wayne was running at full capacity, with three shifts cycling five days a week and employees also coming in for two Saturdays every month. Flint Assembly, which builds the Silverado HD and Sierra HD trucks, implemented mandatory overtime and was also running three shifts, six days a week throughout December.
Source: The Detroit Free Press