Auto worker indefinite layoffs top 250,000


DETROIT -- Indefinite layoffs in the auto industry next week will top the quarter-million mark for the first time since April and General Motors Corp. will have a record 157,000 workers on open-ended layoff.

The firms said Thursday they will have 251,475 workers on indefinite layoff, up 3,675 from this week. Layoffs have not been above 250,000 since the second week of April. The high for the current slump is 254,000, set in March.


The five domestic automakers also will have 40,460 workers on temporary layoff, up from this week's 29,100.

GM's layoffs of 157,000 broke the old record of 154,000 that was tied this week. GM attributed the 3,000 increase to layoffs at its components plants.

The automaker will have 27,000 workers on temporary layoff. Auto plant layoffs to reduce inventories include 4,200 at North Tarrytown, N.Y., 5,000 at Van Nuys, Calif., 4,000 at Willow Run, Mich., 4,000 at Wilmington, Del. and 2,500 at Lordstown, Ohio.

Layoffs at truck plants include 1,600 at Janesville, Wis., 1,600 at Lorraine, Ohio, 2,200 at Pontiac, Mich. and 900 at St. Louis.

In addtion, another 1,000 workers are on layoff at Bowling Green, Ohio while the plant is retool to produce newly designed Corvettes.


However, GM is planning overtime at its Cadillac plant in Detroit, Oldsmobile in Lansing, Mich. and at Arlington, Texas.

Ford Motor Co. has 48,825 workers on indefinite layoff. The automaker has another 10,210 on temporary layoffs. Ford's car plants in Wayne, Mich. and Edison, N.J. and truck plants in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. and Louisville, Ky. will be closed next week.

Chrysler Corp. said it will have 42,000 workers on indefinite layoff and 3,200 on temporary layoff. Its Belvidere, Ill. plant will be closed to cut down on inventories and will reopen Nov. 22.

However, should a strike by the United Auto Workers against Chrysler of Canada continue for any length of time, the automaker has said at least 6,000 temporary layoffs would result in the U.S.

American Motors Corp. said it will have the same 2,150 indefinite layoffs it had this week with no temporary layoffs. Volkswagen of America's indefinite layoffs will be 1,500 and VW will have 50 temporary layoffs.

Ward's Automotive Reports said car production this week will be up 1 percent from the same week last year, and 5.8 percent from last week's production figure.

The automakers were set to build 111,592 autos, compared to 110,463 last year and 105,460 last week. Truck production of 27,029 will be down 2 percent from 27,598 last year and down 28.3 percent from 37,693 last week.


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