GM lays off 800 workers during switchover to electric vehicles at Detroit plant

Workers will likely be offered positions in Michigan and Ohio.

General Motors said Tuesday that it is laying off more than 800 workers as it converts its Detroit Hamtramck plant to an electric vehicle facility.

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The workers are not facing layoffs in the true sense of the word, as GM will relocate them as the corporation retools the plant. A source familiar with the situation told FOX Business the announcement came as a surprise to the United Auto Workers, which represents the workers.

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"As previously announced, production of the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6 at Detroit Hamtramck Assembly will be complete in early 2020," GM spokesperson Daniel Flores told FOX Business in a statement. "We have job opportunities for all [Detroit Hamtramck] team members covered by the UAW-GM National Agreement. We expect to have opportunities in Michigan and Ohio."

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"We expect to begin making job offers to Detroit Hamtramck employees beginning in January 2020," Flores said. "Cadillac CT6 production will be completed in January 2020. Chevrolet Impala production will continue through February 28, 2020."

Mary Barra is CEO of General Motors.

The news comes after the UAW's painfully long strike against GM that ended in October. GM agreed to keep Detroit Hamtramck open after planning to idle it along with three other facilities. However, the switch to electric vehicles means the plant won't need as many workers.

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The strike, which stalled production for six weeks, erased about $2.9 billion in 2019 net income for GM.

FOX Business' Jason Racki, Grady Trimble and Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.

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