Monday, January 7, 2008

Chrysler gives layoff timeline

Firm says when 10,000 job cuts may occur

Chrysler LLC, which announced plans in November to slash as many as 10,000 hourly jobs, gave greater detail Thursday about when some of those cuts would be enacted.

According to Chrysler:

Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit is to lose about 900 jobs, and Toledo North Assembly Plant is to lose about 780 in early February. Jefferson North, which builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Commander, is losing its second shift, and Toledo, which builds the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro, is losing the third shift.

• Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois expects to lay off 1,096 UAW members at the end of February, including about 600 temporary workers who are not eligible for the same sort of job protections as regular workers. The automaker is eliminating the third shift at the plant, which builds the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

• Sterling Heights Assembly Plant is to lose its 1,140-person second shift in mid-March. The plant makes the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger.

• Brampton Assembly Plant outside of Toronto is to lose 1,000 jobs in the first quarter. The plant builds the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.

Chrysler spokeswoman Michele Tinson said the layoffs are volume-related and that the automaker is in negotiations with the UAW about buyout packages for workers. Laid-off workers typically receive 95% of their take-home pay.

A UAW spokesman did not respond to questions Thursday about the layoffs.

In November, Chrysler announced that it would cut between 8,500 and 10,000 hourly jobs in 2008. Those cuts are on top of the 11,000 hourly jobs announced in February that are being cut over three years.

Chrysler is also cutting 4,000 salaried and contract jobs.

The February plan also called for the elimination of a shift at the St. Louis-area minivan plant this year. Tinson said the shift was cut Wednesday and resulted in 1,078 layoffs.

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