DETROIT Dec 5 General Motors Corp (GM.N) said
on Friday it was cutting shifts at three North American
assembly plants in response to declining demand in a move that
will lay off almost 2,000 union-represented factory workers.
GM's November sales dropped 41 percent, a collapse the
automaker said reflects the recessionary U.S. economy, tight
credit and worries about whether GM will survive the crisis.
"We're shrinking because the market is shrinking," said GM
spokesman Chris Lee.
The production cuts were announced as GM Chief Executive
Rick Wagoner testified before the U.S. Congress in an effort to
convince lawmakers to extend up to $18 billion in emergency
GM said it would eliminate third shifts at plants in Orion,
Michigan; Oshawa, Ontario; and Lordstown, Ohio.
The Orion plant makes the Chevrolet Malibu and the Pontiac
G6. The Oshawa plant makes the Chevrolet Impala. The Lordstown
plant makes the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Pontiac G5.
The third shift will be eliminated in Orion and Lordstown
during the week of Feb. 2 and in Oshawa during the week of Feb.
9, said GM spokesman Chris Lee.
In addition, GM will idle its Fairfax assembly plant in
Kansas City, Kansas, during the week of Jan. 19. That plant,
which makes the Saturn Aura and the Malibu, had already been
scheduled to be shut down for the first two weeks of
Workers in the Michigan, Ohio and Kansas, plants are
represented by the United Auto Workers. The Canadian Auto
Workers union represents workers in Oshawa.
GM, Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Chrysler LLC CBS.UL are
seeking a combined $34 billion in federal loans and credits.
Both GM and Chrysler have said they need funding as soon as
this month to avoid insolvency.
(Reporting by Kevin Krolicki; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)