More Janesville GM workers get jobs in Fort Wayne
In Fort Wayne, Ind.
The most recent wave of transfers reduces the laid-off Janesville hourly workforce to 341 production and 95 skilled trades employees, GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter said.
Across the nation, GM has about 6,500 laid-off hourly workers who have the right to take jobs at existing wages as they open up at other plants. The automaker expects that number to fall as it adds third shifts at plants in Fort Wayne and Lansing, Mich.
The Fort Wayne plant has about 2,500 workers who build Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. The plant soon will add a third shift and is expected to add an additional 700 workers.
Carpenter said the third shift in Fort Wayne created the recent offers to 67 Janesville workers. When those workers report next month, the Fort Wayne line will have more than 100 transfers from Janesville.
Carpenter said more Fort Wayne staffing offers will be made through mid-April.
The influx of workers to Allen County, Ind., hasn’t gone unnoticed. Officials there are working to better market the area’s real estate market to the incoming workers.
On Tuesday, GM officials couldn’t immediately provide an updated number of laid-off Janesville workers who have transferred to other plants. Through November, 536 local workers had transferred. At a minimum, that number is now greater than 600.
More than half are now working at GM’s plant in Fairfax, Kan., which produces the popular Chevrolet Malibu and recently added a third shift.
John C. Dohner, president of United Auto Workers Local 95 in Janesville, wouldn’t speculate on the possibility of more transfers for displaced local workers.
“But we can’t stress enough that if you’ve got an interest in going to another plant, you should get your name on the list,” Dohner said.
Local 95 is down to one remaining benefits representative, Dohner said.
Starting Monday, that representative will move his office from the plant to the union hall on Lafayette Street.
Dohner said John Kosharek’s hours will be from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday. His new office phone number will be (608) 755-5120, ext. 119.