4/1/08

GM workers in RTW state unaffected by strike

General Motors continues to operate the Arlington (TX) truck-assembly plant at full production despite the impact of a strike at a key parts manufacturer. GM spokeswoman Wendi Sabo said production at normal rates should continue for the foreseeable future, although changes have been made in the models being produced. Numerous GM plants have been forced to halt or cut production as a result of the United Auto Workers strike against American Axle. About 3,650 UAW workers struck American Axle's five U.S. plants Feb. 26.

The Arlington plant produces GM's full-size sport utility vehicles, including the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade models.

"We're good with parts almost indefinitely," Sabo said, although the plant has stopped producing some models - 63/47-ton Tahoes and Yukons and 2-wheel-drive versions of the Escalade.

How's production?
GM had previously cut back production at its Janesville, Wis., plant, which also builds the Yukon and Tahoe.

The Arlington plant has been working two nine-hour shifts, five days a week for the last month, producing about 1,000 full-size SUVs per day. As planned, the plant will revert to previously scheduled eight-hour shifts after Tuesday.

The Arlington plant has about 2,900 workers.

GM halted production at its Toledo, Ohio, transmission plant Monday for the second time in four weeks. GM has been forced to stop or slow production at 30 manufacturing and assembly plants that employ 43,911 workers, according to a company Web site.

Looking ahead

Not all employees have been laid off at closed plants. Workers sometimes return for maintenance or training.

Most cutbacks caused by the strike have been at plants that make pickups and SUVs, vehicles GM already has in abundant supply, analysts said. Still, GM's production losses may reach 80,000 units this month on vehicles costing an average of $25,000, said Aaron Bragman, an analyst at Global Insight Inc.

"We're looking at how this might affect GM's first-quarter statement," Bragman told Bloomberg News. "It could lower revenue potentially by at least $2 billion."

(star-telegram.com)

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