It’s back to the assembly line for workers at the H2 plant

Posted by admin | Hummer H2 | Tuesday 9 September 2008 3:20 pm

It’s back to the assembly line for workers at the H2 plant.

But their return comes at a time when AM General announced the plant has laid off 80 employees, and scaled back production from 52 vehicles per day to 25.

Before the day started for employees, many sat down for a morning meeting with AM General leaders who announced the cutbacks and changes at the plant.

Sources tell WSBT there were some new faces inside the plant, and one of the changes involved getting new hires acclimated to their positions.

“Our bosses told us they will eventually ramp up to 25 vehicles per day over the next five weeks as people learn their job,” an H2 employee told WSBT News.

It hasn’t been a smooth transition according to some employees. They believe the plant hasn’t been upfront about job seniority. A worker told WSBT News, “I cannot see why they can’t bump some of the probationary people.”

Workers allege AM General is laying off more experienced employees who are at the top of the pay scale, while retaining newer hires who make less money. Those lower paid workers would get job opportunities at the H1 plant where there are job openings.

“We have rigidly conformed with all the provisions of our labor agreement. We have not violated any of those provisions,” said AM General spokesman Craig Mac Nab in a phone interview. “The provisions are rules the union has helped work out, we have a great relationship with our UAW local.

“They’ll have preferential hiring status,” Mac Nab continued. “There’s language that says when we have people laid off in one operation and if there are openings in another operation, some will be able to take advantage.”

In order for employees to transition to the H1 plant, certain requirements have to be met.

Mac Nab would only tell WSBT two of the requirements involved near-perfect attendance and drug testing. He would not comment further on the specifics or on the comments from employees who tell WSBT that doctors’ appointments, excused absences, and family illnesses could exclude an employee.

“I’m not going to argue the fine points of the rules with people,” Mac Nab said. “If people have concerns they can go through the union mechanism.”

Employees are also frustrated with their union. “We did not have union representation at the meeting this morning,” an employee told WSBT. “The union is not accountable.”

Repeated phone calls WSBT made to Local 5 representatives for the past week were not returned. It wasn’t until 4:45 p.m. that a response was faxed to the newsroom.

The AM General Bargaining Committee said, “The union is working with the company to address concerns by employees related to the layoffs at H2.” Union representatives also promise to keep meeting with management to find resolutions to employees’ issues.

Workers though, paint a different picture about UAW Local 5. “The people have been left in limbo between the company and the union,” an employee told WSBT. “I expect the company to keep things to themselves, but I expect the union to tell me what’s going on.”

The union reiterated, “Any employee who has issues concerning their layoff should bring these to the attention of the local union.”

While all of this unfolds, employees tell WSBT, “We wonder if our jobs are secure.”

Possibly hopping to get people excited about Hummer in light of dwindling sales and sketchy Russians, GM has released pictures of the 2009 Hummer H2 Black Chrome Edition, their annual special limited edition. What makes the Black Chrome edition so special? The so-called black chrome. Everywhere. The H2 gets the treatment on the wheels, grille, fuel door, penis pump, turn mirrors, everything.

If you’re in the market for an extra-special Hummer, it should come in three colors, including the unique Sedona Metallic, which is sort of like orange and only available on this edition. The Black Chrome treatment is available on both the H2 and H2T for a total of 1,300 units worldwide. If you’ve got the means, a gas card and a burgeoning real estate practice, this might just be the unnecessary special edition for you. We’ll take the 280Z Black Gold for the mustachioed win. [GM via AutoBlog]

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