The Call Up: GM's Truck Plants Are 'All Hands on Deck'
According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, General Motors’ truck plants now resemble Tesla plants on the eve of the end of a fiscal quarter.
The need to crank out as many pickups as possible — essential for replenishing a depleted inventory while boosting flagging sales figures — has apparently brought both management and laid-off workers to the assembly line.
The report claims GM plans to call back hundreds of formerly laid-off workers in August to offset a manpower shortage born of several reasons, one of them being COVID-19. Freep says Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana is shy about 1,000 workers, some 200 of them because of the coronavirus. Extra workers are also needed in Flint, Michigan, and Arlington Assembly in Texas.
The once-unemployed GM workers would be walking into permanent jobs, union leaders have been told.
It seems the need is most pressing at Fort Wayne, however. The plant, which builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickups, is in danger of not meeting its daily targets, one source claimed, with plant staff apparently going to great lengths to ensure the line doesn’t grind to a halt.
“They’re at full schedule, but they have every single person on that assembly line, including management, and management is not supposed to be on the line,” the source told Freep. “It’s all hands on deck, just to build trucks.”
News of the worker call-up will be music to the ears of employees expected to be laid off at the end of the month at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant, home to a brace of Cadillac crossovers and the GMC Acadia. There, GM’s cutting a third shift to align production with tepid demand. Same goes for workers laid off from Detroit-Hamtramck.
While the automaker wouldn’t admit to management joining workers on the assembly line, it did say problems persist due to COVID-19.
“We are operating our plants as efficiently as possible while accommodating team members who are not reporting to work due to concerns about COVID-19 in the community,” GM spokesman David Barnas told the publication.
[Image: General Motors]
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