Sky Plant Spared Worst of Shutdown

From the News Journal: Joe Riccio, shop chairman for United Auto Workers Local 435, said workers at the Boxwood Road factory were upset that they first learned about the shutdowns from news reports. "We were worried that there was going to be a long, drawn-out shutdown over this thing," Riccio said. GM has already laid off hundreds of workers and cut production to a single shift at the facility, where the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and Opel GT roadsters are built. In the most recent cuts, 90 workers were laid off earlier this month as plant managers slowed production to accommodate slumping demand. During the shutdown, the factory's hourly workers will be on temporary layoff and eligible for state unemployment benefits, said GM spokesman John Raut. The automaker will pay workers supplemental wages to make their total income, including unemployment benefits, equal to 85 percent of their normal take-home pay.

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Two days before my son Wesley's 16th birthday, the events of my life were about to dash a dream. It was October 5th 2002, and there was something that I had always wanted to do for both my sons: present them with a car, wrapped in a big bow, on their respective 16th birthdays.