The New York Times reported that General Motors announced Monday that it planned to bring 700 jobs back to its “idled assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., next year for work on any of the company’s cars whenever extra production is needed.” General Motors also said that it would spend $61 million in preparing the plant for the building of the Chevrolet Equinox in the second half of 2012.
The company said that it would also be adding close to 1,200 more jobs for the production of a midsized vehicle set to come out in the year 2015. General Motors is also planning to invest $183 million for the production of that vehicle. The Times reported that GM agreed to reopen the plant as part of its four-year labor agreement with United Automobile Workers (UAW) union. The plant originally shut down in 2009 when it was the production center for the Saturn brand, which is now defunct. Though the plant was shut down, the Times reported that an engine plant still remained in operation on site. As part of the first round of hires, officials at both GM and UAW are set to hire 400 to 500 workers. These new hires would be entry-level workers and would be paid $15/hour, little more than half of what full-wage GM workers earn.
“The UAW president Bob King said he believed getting the plant back online and persuading the three Detroit automakers to commit to adding nearly 20,000 new jobs overall was more critical than asking for wage increases,” as stated in the article. This is one move that a company is making in the right direction to add more jobs to the market and get some of the unemployed back to work. According to the Times, when the plant shut down in 2009, a small amount of the workers remained in the area. Others transferred to other GM plants. Of those that transferred, only 280 decided to opt into a relocation package that allowed them to automatically transfer back to the Spring Hill plant when it reopened. About 800 others of those that relocated decided to take a $30,000 lump-sum relocation payment.
“The mayor of Spring Hill, Michael Dinwiddie, called the plant’s reopening “a tremendous moment in history” and expressed his elation that GM was coming back to “this underdog of a city that almost everyone had written off.”
SOURCE: The New York Times
IMAGE: Photo of engines being built at the Spring Hill plant courtesy of Market Watch.