GM to lay off 887 workers in Wentzville

GM to lay off 887 workers in Wentzville

 

St. Louis Business Journal – by Kelsey Volkmann

Scott Schultz
 

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General Motors Corp., which filed for bankruptcy last week, plans to cut a shift from its Wentzville plant and lay off 887 workers or nearly half its hourly work force there.

The job cuts, which will occur Aug. 10, will affect 887 of the 1,900 hourly workers at the plant, according to Chris Lee, a GM spokesman.

“We are having to make the tough decision based on product demand,” he said. “We have to reduce our inventories and get production output in line with what the market demands.”

When asked whether reducing production at the Wentzville plant from two shifts to one would make the factory more vulnerable to a closure in the future, Lee said: “Not necessarily. If demand increases, we have added shifts back on” at other locations.

GM will idle its Wentzville plant starting this week until July 27.

Last week, GM identified the 14 plants it plans to close or idle by the end of 2010, but the Wentzville plant was spared because it’s the only plant where Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans are made, analysts had said.

When Wentzville Mayor Paul Lambi took office seven years ago, Wentzville counted on GM for about 55 to 60 percent of its total revenue. Today, it’s more like 15 percent of the city’s $24 million general fund, because GM pays the city about $3 million a year in real estate taxes, property taxes and other fees, he said last week.

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