Area GM workers hoping to be back on the job soon

September 08, 1992|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Staff Writer

About 2,800 workers at General Motors' Baltimore plant are expecting to be called back to their jobs this week following the settlement over the weekend of a strike at a Lordstown, Ohio, parts plant.

Which day remained unclear, a plant spokesman said today.

Terry Youngerman, the spokesman, said the Broening Highway plant is expected to resume operation sometime this week.

"But it is still a question if that will be Wednesday, Thursday or Friday," he said.

The Broening Highway plant closed Aug. 31 following the strike at a GM parts supplier in Lordstown, as did several other GM plants around the country.

Mr. Youngerman also said the Baltimore plant has not yet sent out a call to area suppliers to resume their daily shipments to the Broening Highway factory.

Within hours of the Baltimore plant's closing, Monarch Industries Inc., the Belcamp company that produces instrument panels, or --boards, for the minivans was forced to halt production and lay off its 80 workers.

Johnson Controls Inc., another Belcamp company that supplies seats to the Baltimore plant, also halted production. Johnson estimated that half of its employees accepted voluntary layoffs and the rest were used for plant maintenance or involved in training.

The Baltimore GM plant, which produces the popular Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari minivans, shut down about 8 a.m. Aug. 31 when it ran out of needed parts that are produced at the company's Lordstown factory.

Mr. Youngerman said plant management officials "will sit down with our materials people this morning to confirm which shipments [from Lordstown] are in transit."

Plant managers should have a better idea this afternoon when they might be able to recall the assembly line workers.

As of this morning, Mr. Youngerman said, the plant had received no shipments from Lordstown. GM's Lordstown plant produces door frame components and other parts used in the production of the minivans made in Baltimore.

The strike at the Lordstown plant began Aug. 27 when members of the United Auto Workers Union walked off their jobs when talks could not resolve a dispute over issues related to job security, safety and GM's plans to close a tool and die shop that employs 240 workers.

Within days the strike forced the closing of nine GM assembly plants around the country and led to the layoff of nearly 43,000 workers. The closings included GM's plant in Spring, Tenn., that makes the company's hot-selling Saturn and an assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., that employees a number of workers from northeastern Maryland.

About 280 salaried workers and another approximately 360 maintenance employees have stayed on the job at the Baltimore plant.

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