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GM To Lay Off 767 Workers At Plant Near Detroit

Automaker General Motors says slumping sales spurred the job cuts; Hamtramck assembly plant will go from two shifts to one.

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it will permanently lay off 767 workers later this year at a plant near Detroit because of lagging sales of its products.
GM's Hamtramck assembly plant will go from two shifts to one shift on Dec. 14, company spokesman Tom Wickham said. The plant will be closed from Dec. 14 to Jan. 2 for a planned shutdown and for a holiday recess, he added.
The plant currently employs 1,847 hourly workers and makes the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS sedans. Lucerne sales fell 15 percent in the first nine months of this year, while DTS sales were down 14 percent, according to Autodata Corp.
''The products are selling but the capacity is greater than the demand,'' Wickham said. ''We have to make sure we don't have too much inventory out there.''
Wickham said the plant currently makes 40 cars per hour during two shifts. After Jan. 2, the plant will make 56 cars per hour in one shift.
The cuts came just a week after GM workers across the country voted to ratify a new contract between the automaker and the United Auto Workers. GM workers went on strike for two days before the contract agreement was reached last month.
The contract includes promises for future products at the Hamtramck plant but doesn't specify the number of jobs that will be needed. Hamtramck is scheduled to build the Lucerne and DTS through 2010, when it will begin building the Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car. It also has a small car promised for 2009 and a midsize car promised for 2012.
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