According to an article in the Star-Telegram, two unidentified sources said that General Motors is planning to temporarily close most of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer because of slumping sales and growing inventories of unsold vehicles.
The article said:
Neither person wanted to be identified because workers have not been told of the shutdowns… J.R. Flores, president of Local 276 in Arlington, said he had not been told anything by GM or union officials and had not been notified of any planned meeting. The Arlington plant employs about 2,400 United Auto Workers-represented production workers and 200 or so other salaried employees.
This type of shutdown could be devastating for employees who have not yet faced job losses. If the shutdown is unpaid, it could seriously slash into the budgets of workers who might end up worst off than their counterparts who have already succumb to job losses. At least those who faced job losses have access to unemployment insurance. This is just another sign that GM is desperately trying to avoid bankruptcy; but at this point it may be pushed into bankruptcy because their sales are sinking.
In the first quarter of 2009, GM’s vehicle sales plummeted 49 percent and currently they have more than a six month supply of unsold cars and their sales continue to drop. Unfortunately for Texas GM workers, one of the vehicle models with high inventories is made in Arlington, so if the shutdown does take place, Texas workers will feel the pain. At this point, bankruptcy is beginning to look like an option that GM would be wise to take.