The local General Motors minivan plant is scheduled to resume production tomorrow morning, which will make it one of the last factories to recall its workers after a crippling strike in Lordstown, Ohio.
Yesterday afternoon, the local plant began notifying about 2,800 workers to report to work with the start of the first shift at 6 tomorrow. Those workers were laid off Aug. 31 after a shortage of parts caused a halt in production at the Baltimore plant.
Terry Youngerman, a spokesman for the local plant, said about 75 to 100 skilled workers would return to work later tonight to prepare the factory for an early-morning start-up.
GM officials in Detroit had no clear explanation of why Baltimore was so low on the list of plants receiving parts from the Lordstown plant that are needed to resume production.
The GM plant in Wilmington, Del., which draws about one-fourth of its 3,200 workers from the Northeast section of Maryland, was scheduled to begin production of Chevrolet Corsicas and Berettas this morning.
The strike at the Lordstown plant began Aug. 27, when members of the United Auto Workers walked off their jobs after talks with the company failed to 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.
The strike idled nearly 43,000 autoworkers and nine plants around the country.
The pinch on family budgets was not limited to workers at the city's largest manufacturing employer. Several area companies who make parts for GM's Baltimore plant had to interrupt their production and lay off workers.
One was Johnson Control Inc., a Belcamp company that makes seats for the minivans.
William Beddow, manager of employee relations, said his company would resume production tomorrow morning for the first time since the GM plant in Baltimore closed. It is recalling about 70 workers who had accepted a voluntary layoff during the shutdown.
About 23 laid-off workers at the A. O. Smith Automotive Products Inc. plant in Belcamp will have to wait until Monday before reporting back to work.
The parts supplier did not shut down until yesterday, and a company spokesman said there were enough parts in inventory to supply the Baltimore plant until next week.
Monarch Industries Inc. is recalling 85 laid-off workers at its Belcamp plant tomorrow, when the factory resumes its production of dashboards for the minivans.