GM to cut second shift, 1,300 jobs at Detroit-Hamtramck

Melissa Burden

General Motors Co. plans to cut the second shift and nearly 1,300 jobs from its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant in March, the automaker told the state in a filing Monday.

The Detroit automaker said eliminating the second shift will result in the layoffs of 1,192 GM permanent and temporary workers, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) filing with the state. Layoffs may start around March 5.

The filing comes as the automaker seeks to trim inventory levels that are its highest in eight years and as consumers have shifted away from cars and toward trucks and SUVs. At the end of November, GM had a 105-day supply of cars, nearly double the amount analysts consider a healthy supply.

Detroit-Hamtramck builds the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala and the Buick LaCrosse sedans. Some of the models had inventory levels nearing six months at the end of November, including the LaCrosse, which had a 168-day supply, according to Autodata Corp.

The layoffs also include nearly 80 more workers at GM Manufacturing Subsystems LLC, a subsidiary of GM that does work for the plant.

GM, in a statement late Monday, said the second shift is being eliminated at Detroit-Hamtramck “in order to align production with current and forecasted market demand.”

Earlier Monday, GM confirmed that five of its U.S. assembly plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck, would shutter production for some time in January. The plant, which employs nearly 3,000, will halt production for three weeks next month to help reduce supplies to consumer demand.

Last month, GM announced it would cut the third shifts in January at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant and its Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio. Those plants also build small cars; layoffs at those plants will result in the loss of about 2,000 jobs.

Some analysts had said as GM’s car inventory grew, it may be forced to cut production at additional sites.

The automaker, in the notice to the state, said it’s possible GM will be able to place most, if not all, affected workers from Detroit-Hamtramck in other local plants. Workers who are laid off may be eligible for supplementary unemployment benefits and state unemployment benefits.

GM said about 32 salaried workers will transfer to other local plants.

The automaker only added the second shift — long awaited — at Detroit-Hamtramck earlier this year.


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