Three GM parts plants to resume production next week

Breana Noble
The Detroit News
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General Motors Co. says it will resume production at three parts plants next week ahead of the May 18 restart of most of its U.S. assembly plants.

The action is part of the preparations to ensure the Detroit automaker has the components it needs for a smooth ramp up of its assembly plants, GM spokesman Dan Flores said. GM also is recalling skilled trades and salaried workers next week to make preparation at the plants coming online the following week.

A sign at  GM's formerly idled Warren Transmission plant signals the pickup area for face masks for hospitals.

The facilities resuming production starting with one shift the week of May 11 are New York's Lockport Components, which makes radiators, evaporators and ventilation parts; DMax Ltd. in Moraine, Ohio, which makes engines for trucks; and the St. Catharines Propulsion Plant in Ontario.

"These are internal supplier plants," Flores said, "so they are going to start building parts to fill that pipeline."

Employees at GM's Customer Care & Aftersales parts distribution centers also will return after the facilities have run with paid volunteers to supply dealers and service centers. Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are doing so, too. A number of workers, including United Auto Workers members, working on a paid volunteer basis also returned to their plants late last month to begin prepping the facilities for a restart.

Skilled trades and salaried workers at 13 plants will begin reporting to work this week, as well. These plants are slated to resume production with one shift starting the week of May 18:

  • Arlington Assembly in Texas, which makes light-duty pickups and full-size SUVs
  • Bay City Powertrain
  • CAMI Assembly in Ingersoll, Ontario, which makes the Chevrolet Equinox SUV
  • Flint Assembly, which makes heavy duty pickups and the GMC Sierra truck
  • Flint Engine
  • Fort Wayne Assembly in Roanoke, Indiana, which makes pickups
  • Lansing Delta Assembly, which makes the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse SUVs
  • Toledo Transmission
  • Romulus Engine
  • Saginaw Metal Casting Operations
  • Spring Hill Manufacturing, which makes GMC and Cadillac SUVs and propulsion systems
  • Toledo Transmission
  • Wentzville Assembly in Missouri, which makes mid-size trucks and full-size vans

Other plants will follow, Flores said. Production won't start at any of the facilities until employees go through a safety orientation. GM has shared its 48-page back-to-work health and safety protocols and sent fliers to its workers communicating what to expect when they return. Employees will have to fill out a questionnaire, get their temperatures checked, wear a mask and practice social distancing where possible.

The United Auto Workers has collaborated with the automakers on their safety procedures.

"While it is the companies that have the sole contractual right to determine the opening of plants, we have the contractual right to protect our members," UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said in a statement. "And we have and will continue to do so at all costs."

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

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