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Some workers will receive 74% of pay as GM plant in Spring Hill shuts down

Daily Herald - 3/22/2020

Mar. 22--The General Motors manufacturing plant in Spring Hill shut down Friday night.

Auto workers were making plans Saturday to open unemployment claims Monday. They will be eligible to draw checks a week later.

More than 3,500 people were laid off locally as the facility off Nashville Highway Saturn Parkway closed until at least March 30.

The numbers do not include GM suppliers. Theyfurloughed more than 2,000 workers while the auto plant is down.

"The true impact is closer to 5,500-6,000," United Auto Workers Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron said.

The UAW asked all Big 3 automakers to close amid the coronavirus outbreak.

UAW national Vice President Terry Dittes said plants across the county will be deep cleaned over the next two weeks. "The UAW staff has been working on this non-stop, and we appreciate your support during this critical time," Dittes said in the letter to members.

Herron said the union and company will follow the national agreement, negotiated after last year's strike against GM, on pay.

Some workers who have been with GM more than a year will receive around 74% of their usual paycheck between sub pay and unemployment, he added.

"I'm praying that this is a short shutdown period and that our workforce remains safe," Herron said.

There has been talk about using idle auto plants to built ventilators during the coronavirus crisis. Spring Hill has not been asked to participate.

"Not at this time," plant spokesperson Courtney Jackson said Saturday.

James Bennett is editor of The Daily Herald. Contact him at jbennett@c-dh.net.

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