GM plant in Ohio cuts shift; up to 1,500 workers affected

GM workers in Lordstown, Ohio, got some bad Friday the 13th news when the company said it was suspending the second shift. 

General Motors told 3,000 workers at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio, on Friday that it was suspending its second shift to make operations more stable.

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A spokeswoman for the company said up to 1,500 hourly and salaried employees will be affected. She said the company didn't know how many employees would actually lose their jobs. The company will begin communicating with workers next week to let them know what alternatives are available.

In a statement e-mailed to FOX Business, the company said last year that Chevrolet sold 150,000 Cruze compact sedans in the U.S., all built in Lordstown.  This year’s forecast for the model is about the same.

“As we look at the market for compact cars in 2018 and beyond, we believe a more stable operating approach to match market demand is a one-shift schedule,” the company said in the statement.

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The U.S. small-car market has been on a steady decline since 2014, owing in large part to a change in consumer demand for crossovers, trucks and SUVs, according to the statement. Lower fuel prices and an improving economy are both contributing to this trend, GM added.

GM summoned the 3,000 employers at the facility for a meeting at 3 p.m. local time on Friday to discuss the plant’s future. Before the meeting, Lordstown Village Mayor Arno Hill told the Business Journal of Youngstown that speculation was rampant, adding that he remained confident.