General Motors’ Technology Center in Warren, Michigan has not been restored to full functionality following last week’s heavy rains and subsequent floods. As of now, about 2,500 employees and contractors are still waiting to get back to work.
The August 11 flooding caused the US automaker to close down for maintenance, cleaning and repairing no less than 19 buildings, with many people saying the damages and cleanups led to millions of dollars in losses.
Mark Reuss, GM’s leader of global product development, purchasing and supply chain declined to provide this week an estimate for the company losses, as the cleanup and assessments continue. He added that there is also no possible estimate on the impact of the flooding on future product introductions, but as the carmaker and its suppliers work to reopen the buildings, most of the affected employees are working from different locations.
There are those who can’t work from other places though – according to David Small, acting president of UAW Local 160 in Warren. He said that close to 200 workers that are involved with design fabrication work on prototype cars in the Design Center as well as others who worked inside the Research and Development buildings are for the moment on temporary layoff – with his estimate being they’ll get back to work by Labor Day.