Thursday, November 1, 2007

Belvidere 3rd shift to be cut

November 1, 2007

Chrysler LLC today plans to announce the elimination of third shifts at the Belvidere plant in the first quarter of 2008, eliminating about 1,000 jobs, according to two congressional aides with knowledge of the announcement.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The plant, 70 miles northwest of Chicago, employs about 3,000 hourly workers and assembles the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

In addition, Chrysler will eliminate the third shift at its Toledo North plant in Ohio, cutting 750 jobs. The company on Wednesday began laying off thousands of salaried workers as part of an effort to slash costs in its new era of private ownership, a spokesman said.

Chrysler spokesman Mike Aberlich said about one-third of the company's temporary workers will be laid off in the next few months, along with other salaried workers.

Aberlich didn't disclose the number of workers who will be affected, but a person briefed on the plan said 1,000 salaried workers and 1,100 temporary employees -- who work in engineering, finance, procurement and other areas -- will be laid off.

The white-collar cuts come on top of the 13,000 layoffs Chrysler announced in February as part of a massive restructuring plan. Those cuts included 11,000 production workers.

Chrysler became a private company in August when Germany's Daimler AG sold 80.1 percent of Chrysler to the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP.

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