Back to work for Arlington GM workers

Back to work for Arlington GM workers

 

01:04 PM CDT on Friday, July 10, 2009

 

By JIM DOUGLAS / WFAA-TV

Jim Douglas reports.

ARLINGTON – General Motors has emerged from bankruptcy after only 40 days of restructuring.

So what does this mean for General Motors workers in Arlington?

For some, it means they will return to work Monday morning, following an eight-week shutdown.

It will take time to get the assembly line back up to speed.

There are 2,300 workers at the Arlington GM plant. Half will report on Monday. The other half will report back on Tuesday.

The head of UAW 276 says workers are relieved GM emerged from bankruptcy so quickly.

Many plants will not reopen at all.

Workers have seen a significant loss in income – about 30 percent during the shutdown.

Almost immediately, there will be another shutdown, during the first two weeks in August. The shutdown is taking place to save the new GM even more money.

WFAA-TV

It will take time to get the assembly line back up to speed.

"We’ve been out of work for eight weeks. Loss of income is always tough on you because your bills don’t go down, just your income. So we are ready to go back to work. We’re ready to make some money and build a business," said JR Flores, president of UAW 276.

"We understand we’ve been given a second chance. We’re grateful for that chance."

Workers will have to use their vacation time, if they have it, for that two-week shutdown in August. If they don’t have it, that’s two weeks of no income at all.

GM’s leadership also takes a hit in this – GM sliced about 450 executive jobs, about 35 percent.

The question is now, will Americans start buying those big SUVs that are made at the Arlington plant?

Workers say they will be much more fuel efficient in future, as more and more hybrids are built.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com.

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