Layoffs spread from GM Lordstown to seat manufacturer

LORDSTOWN — A company that provides seating for the Chevrolet Cruze is feeling the ripple effect of layoffs at the General Motors Assembly Complex.

Lordstown Seating Systems has announced it will end its third shift beginning Jan. 20, effectively causing permanent layoffs for 83 full-time hourly and salaried employees and 32 more temporary workers at the company’s Henn Parkway SW facility, according to a mass layoff notice the company provided the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The notice, also known as a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, states the layoffs will happen no later than Feb. 2.

The layoffs will affect 73 general assembly and two skilled trades workers. Also, five production supervisors and one quality supervisor, one information / technology analyst and one quality liaison will lose their jobs, according to the notice.

An official at the company could not be reached for comment.

GM announced Nov. 9 the elimination of the third shift at the Lordstown complex, causing 1,202 hourly Lordstown workers to lose their jobs, effective Jan. 23. Forty-three salaried employees will have the option to transfer to other facilities. More than 4,500 people work at the local plant that has made the Chevrolet Cruze exclusively since 2010.

The Detroit automaker said the move is being made to more effectively match supply with demand as customers shift from wanting smaller cars to bigger vehicles. A spokesman for the company said  projections indicate customers will continue to want crossovers, SUVs and trucks instead of smaller cars such as the Cruze.

GM plans to also cut the third shift at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan, impacting 810 hourly and 29 salaried workers, effective Jan. 16. That plant employs 2,700 and makes the Cadillac ATS and CTS and Chevrolet Camaro.

More than 3.5 million units of the Cruze have been sold around the world since 2008, and more than 1.25 million of those have been made in Lordstown. GM invested $250 million to retool Lordstown to manufacture the next-generation Cruze that went into production at the local plant in February.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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