Wednesday, 17 February 2021 16:29

GM Idles Shifts at 4 Factories Amid Arctic Blast; 8,000 Workers Affected

Written by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press
Cadillac Escalades roll off the assembly line June 25, 2019, at Arlington Assembly. Cadillac Escalades roll off the assembly line June 25, 2019, at Arlington Assembly. Mike Stone for GM


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General Motors was canceling shifts at four of its biggest U.S. factories Feb. 15, including its highly profitable full-size SUV plant in Texas and its midsize pickup plant in Missouri.

A severe winter storm is delivering arctic temperatures, snow and ice accumulation that can hinder operations, create dangerous driving conditions for workers and impede parts delivery to plants.


On Feb. 15, GM spokesman David Barnas told the Free Press the automaker canceled the following shifts:


  • Three shifts at its midsize SUV plant in Spring Hill, TN
  • Three shifts at its full-size SUV factory in Arlington, TX, after the governor issued a disaster declaration
  • The second shift at its Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky, where it builds the Corvette 
  • The second shift at Wentzville Assembly in Missouri, where GM makes its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups and the Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size vans


In total, slightly more than 8,000 workers have been affected across the four facilities, Barnas said. Production plans at the plants beyond second shift Feb. 15 will continue to be evaluated, he said, noting employee safety in severe weather is a big part of GM's consideration.


A spokesman for the UAW said the contract stipulates that those workers affected by the shift cancellations will receive most, if not all, of their regular pay.


The weather has disrupted production at Ford Motor Co. too. It is shutting down production of its highly profitable 2021 F-150 pickup trucks and Transit Vans for a full week in Kansas City, MO, because the cold temperatures could restrict the availability of natural gas. 


Also Nissan North America said production at all four of its U.S. manufacturing facilities has been temporarily suspended. It was expected to resume production Feb. 16, a Nissan spokesperson said. Nissan has a plant in Smyrna, TN, where it builds...

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