GM has pulled the plug on its Oklahoma City assembly plant, which produced the long-wheelbase versions of the Envoy and Trailblazer, as part of its recently-announced downsizing plan.
What's really disturbing, however, is where those 2,200 displaced workers went. They didn't receive a traditional settlement package, but instead got dropped into the UAW's "jobs bank" - a holding tank of sorts for temporarily unemployed autoworkers. This is the first time that a plant's entire workforce has been dropped into the bank. Of course, no one really believes that the drop in GM's labor needs is temporary, so the question remains: What will the General do in the long term with its downsizing and labor surplis issues? At the moment, the plan appears to be a 'wait and see' what happens during the '07 labor contract renegotiations. If history tells us anything, the issue won't be forced.
As a side note, we should point out that the $31/hour wage described in the article isn't quite accurate. According to the UAW, the pay rate for an assembly worker in the 2nd year of the current contract is just under $26/hour. We want to make sure we get this "wage inflation" under control, as the hourly rate of a line worker seems to be creeping upward with every article that's written on the topic.
In other news, Moody's nailed GM with another bond rating downgrade yesterday.