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Local GM stamping plant layoffs to begin next month

December 2, 2010

It’s official: General Motors will begin shutting down its Indianapolis metal-stamping plant Jan. 28, with an initial wave of layoffs that will cost 75 workers their jobs.

In a letter filed with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development this week, local officials said the facility at 340 S. White River Parkway West Drive will cease production June 30. Work will be transferred to other GM plants or other facilities over the next several months.

About 640 hourly workers at the plant are represented by United Auto Workers Local 23. Union members in September overwhelmingly voted to reject a proposed pay cut that would have kept the facility open under a new owner—Illinois-based JD Norman Industries.

GM has planned to close or sell the 2-million-square-foot plant for three years.

Norman Industries sought concessions from the union, hoping workers would approve a 50-percent pay cut to keep their jobs. But Local 23 resisted even putting the matter up for a vote.

The late-September vote, held by mail-in ballot, was arranged by higher-level UAW officials who  promoted the deal as a way to keep the plant open and grow union membership in Indianapolis. Officials hoped employment would grow to as much as 2,000 under Norman Industries' ownership.

Not all of the UAW members will lose their jobs. Many workers already are eligible for retirement, and those who aren’t have the right to transfer to other GM plants.

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