Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Designer layoffs set at Chrysler

More buyouts on way, carmaker says

Chrysler LLC plans to lay off 119 salaried UAW design workers today at the technology center in Auburn Hills and at the Plymouth Road Office Complex in Detroit.

This is part of the group that was expected to be laid off around Christmas but saw a reprieve.

UAW Local 412, Unit 80 warned members Wednesday that layoffs would go into effect Monday.

"The UAW fought and fought to get this unjust layoff stopped! We will continue to fight the fight and get our impacted people back as soon as possible," Michael Norscia, unit chairman, said in an e-mail obtained by the Free Press.

Chrysler spokeswoman Michele Tinson confirmed Wednesday that the employees will be told of the layoffs today and said the action was volume-related.

In addition, 770 UAW members at Warren Truck Plant and about 1,000 at Toledo Machining will be offered buyout and early-retirement packages Monday.

Earlier this week, about 13,000 UAW members in metro Detroit were offered buyout and early-retirement packages, all part of Chrysler's efforts to reduce its hourly workforce by 10,000 as announced in November.

That announcement was on top of a February 2007 plan to cut 11,000 hourly workers over three years.

The buyout packages included lump-sum payments as high as $100,000 and were for eligible employees with at least one year of service.

The UAW and Chrysler are believed to be in negotiations over potential buyout packages for the designers that are to be laid off today.

If laid off, the union members would continue to receive a percentage of their pay while not working for a period of time.

Some workers were upset about the development Wednesday.

"So I have to go home to my family tonight and tell them I am losing my job Friday," a designer told the Free Press on Wednesday.

In addition, 110 salaried UAW members at the company's Auburn Hills technology center and elsewhere will be able to take early retirement effective today.

No comments: