GM laying off up to 75 at Spring Hill

April 22, 2013

GM laying off up to 75 at Spring Hill

Cuts may be short-term

By Duane Marsteller
| The Tennessean

General Motors is laying off up to 75 workers at its Spring Hill plant because of slowing market demand.

The layoffs began April 12 and will end this Friday, according to a notice issued by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The layoffs are being done “to better balance production capacity with market demand,” the automaker said in a statement. “This is a normal course of business.”

GM said the layoffs affect less than 4 percent of its Spring Hill workforce, which totals more than 1,800 workers.

The company gave no other details, but a United Auto Workers official said those being laid off are entry-level workers in an engine plant. The engine that the workers are responsible for only goes in a few 2013 models, said Tim Stannard, president of UAW Local 1853.

But production is expected to ramp up as more 2014 models will get the engine, including one model new to Spring Hill to be announced this summer,

“This is an indefinite layoff, but I expect it to be a temporary situation,” Stannard said. “Hopefully, we’ll get those people back soon.”

Overall employment at Spring Hill is expected to grow significantly later this year. GM has said that 1,200 more workers will be needed when GM begins assembling two new midsize vehicles, as yet unidentified, at the plant, which at one time employed more than 7,000 in the production of GM’s now-defunct Saturn line of vehicles.

Last August, GM began production of the newest generation of its 2.5-liter Ecotec engine on a new, $460 million assembly line in Spring Hill, and said that line would eventually add about 450 workers.

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