GM to add shifts at three plants, restore 2,400 jobs image

General Motors Co. will add a third shift at three U.S. plants that are taking on additional production from factories slated to close or be idled.

The facilities getting the new shifts are in Fairfax, Kansas; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Delta Township, Michigan, GM said today in a statement. The changes will restore 2,400 jobs, the Detroit-based company said.

“This is a really good day for GM employees,” Tim Lee, the company’s vice president of global manufacturing, said on a conference call. An additional 600 jobs will be restored at stamping and powertrain facilities, he said.

GM is adjusting its factory capacity after scaling back in a government-aided bankruptcy reorganization. The largest U.S. automaker exited court protection July 10. Consolidating vehicle output lets the company run its plants more efficiently.

The Fairfax plant will become the sole producer of Chevrolet Malibu sedans when an Orion Township, Michigan, factory is idled in November to be retooled for small cars. Fairfax, which also makes Buick LaCrosse and Saturn Aura sedans, will start the new shift in January, GM said.

Fort Wayne is taking over output of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra large pickup trucks from a Pontiac, Michigan, factory that will be shuttered at the end of this month. The Indiana plant will add its third shift in April, the company said.

The Delta Township plant will add the Chevrolet Traverse sport-utility vehicle from the Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant that is being idled in November. Delta’s additional shift begins in April, GM said.

Laid-Off Workers

The automaker plans to draw on laid-off workers as it restores jobs in Fairfax, Fort Wayne and Delta Township.

The factories being idled or closed now have about 7,000 employees, including union-represented, contract and salaried workers. A “substantial” number of people at those plants have taken retirement packages and the rest will have the option to move to the facilities that are gaining products, Lee said, without giving figures.

“Even with these actions, we will have some employees left on layoff,” he said.