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GM Is Hiring More Part-Time Workers To Slow Job Cuts

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Judging solely by the top-line numbers, the US labor market appears to be at its tightest level in decades. But if you look below the surface, of course, that narrative swiftly unravels, and the notion that the labor numbers have been at least partially goalseeked (possibly for political purposes) is almost unavoidable.

Last month, we pointed out how last month's abysmal labor-market report was in reality even softer than many analysts initially believed. Case in point: A quick peek beneath the surface revealed sizable revisions in full-time job creation and also the discouraging fact that part-time jobs created only just offset the full time jobs lost during the period.

Chart

Jobs

And as if this problem wasn't already acute enough, the plight of the part-time worker could soon be even more widely shared, as a General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio is considering a radical plan that would see it become almost entirely reliant on part-time workers to power one of its shifts, the Tribune Chronicle reported. The plant almost exclusively manufactures the Chevy Cruze and has already gone through a round of layoffs in 2017, when the plant eliminated its third shift and cut 1,200 workers. It announced the elimination of its second shift – which also eliminated 1,500 jobs – last month.

The cuts come as Chevy Cruze sales have dwindled, as Wolf Richter over at Wolf Street shows us in the chart below:

Chevy

Last month, GM announced that the second shift would be eliminated. But this week, the leader of the local United Auto Workers Local 1112 said the union and management might've found a way to save some of the 1,500 jobs cut from the factory's second shift.

In a rare move, the General Motors complex in Lordstown may be considering using part-time workers to fulfill the plant’s needs after it was announced last month the second shift was being eliminated, costing approximately 1,500 workers their jobs.

United Auto Workers Local 1112 president Glenn Johnson said the union’s bargaining unit was working through "details." Johnson was tight-lipped about the negotiations, saying only that there was an ongoing conversation between the parties involved. He did not reveal which parties.

Johnson added that he did not want to undermine the progress that has been made. When pressed for details, Johnson said, "you don’t know what you have until after the negotiation."

A spokesman for the plant said the company does not talk about personnel situations.

"Plans are still being discussed for what will happen when we shift from two shifts to one," the spokesman said.

He added that any employment matters "are pursued under the GM-UAW agreement."

It appears that after Congressman Timothy Ryan – a "progressive" who challenged Nancy Pelosi for party leader following Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton – urged GM to consider a "layoff aversion program," the company has decided that employing an army of part-time workers who still depend partly on government benefits might just be the way to go.

But to the workers affected – don't think of your jobs as part time work, think of it as shared work.

On April 24, U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, urged GM chairwoman and CEO Mary T. Barra to consider a layoff aversion program called SharedWork Ohio. The program would allow GM to reduce the laid-off workers’ hours in a uniform way. Affected employees would work a reduced set of hours each week and would be eligible for unemployment benefits in proportion to their reduced hours.

Ryan spokesman Michael Zetts said Tuesday he is not aware of whether GM would implement the program.

At least this way, every worker at the plant will be adversely affected by the layoffs, helping to ensure that none of them are earning enough to survive. Luckily for them, President Trump has established himself as a champion of wellfare programs like, say, food stamps

…If "SharedWork Ohio" is branded a "success", we wonder: Will other US automakers scramble to mimic it? And what would happen if they did?


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