GM’s 2 Lansing-area plants reopen after weeks of inactivity
GM shuttered the plant on July 19 in response to a global shortage of semiconductor chips.
United Auto Workers Local 602 President Mike Huerta says the work stoppage was the longest he’s seen in his 24 years at GM. He says most longtime workers who are used to the cyclical nature of the business fared better than some newer employees.
Huerta says everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.
“I had a lot of text messages, phone calls and private messages on Facebook about how people were feeling,” Huerta said. “They couldn’t sleep; it was the first day of school type of jitters. Everyone was very excited to go back to work.”
GM’s Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant is also back open after a three-week closure.
Huerta says as recently as 2017, semiconductor chips were made at a facility in Indiana.
Now, he says most of that work has gone offshore, giving American workers less control over production.
“For the years that we’ve been preaching, ‘bring work back to the United States,’ this is a giant red flag for everybody, not just us,” he said. “These microchips go into all sorts of products, from computers to the toys that are coming up for Christmas.”
In a written statement, the automaker said “although the situation remains complex and very fluid, we remain confident in our team’s ability to continue finding creative solutions to minimize the impact on our highest-demand and capacity constrained vehicles.”