GM may consider part-time workers

LORDSTOWN — In a rare move, the General Motors complex in Lordstown may be considering using part-time workers to fulfill the plant’s needs after it was announced last month the second shift was being eliminated, costing approximately 1,500 workers their jobs.

United Auto Workers Local 1112 president Glenn Johnson said the union’s bargaining unit was working through “details.” Johnson was tight-lipped about the negotiations, saying only that there was an ongoing conversation between the parties involved. He did not reveal which parties.

Johnson added that he did not want to undermine the progress that has been made. When pressed for details, Johnson said, “you don’t know what you have until after the negotiation.”

A spokesman for the plant said the company does not talk about personnel situations.

“Plans are still being discussed for what will happen when we shift from two shifts to one,” the spokesman said.

He added that any employment matters “are pursued under the GM-UAW agreement.”

The GM Complex in Lordstown announced April 13 that it would eliminate its second production shift, cutting approximately 1,500 jobs. Layoffs won’t begin until June 15.

On April 24, U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, urged GM chairwoman and CEO Mary T. Barra to consider a layoff aversion program called SharedWork Ohio. The program would allow GM to reduce the laid-off workers’ hours in a uniform way. Affected employees would work a reduced set of hours each week and would be eligible for unemployment benefits in proportion to their reduced hours.

Ryan spokesman Michael Zetts said Tuesday he is not aware of whether GM would implement the program.