Local union leaders are breathing a sigh of relief after learning Lansing's two assembly plants will remain in production. One plant will actually benefit from another factory closing in Tennessee. General Motors' newest crossover vehicle will soon be made in mid-Michigan. The automaker announced it will move production of the Chevy Traverse from Spring Hill, Tennessee to Delta Township.
Brian Fredline, President, UAW Local 602: "This will be another feather in Delta Township's cap that we're able to build all of the crossovers for GM."
But the gain comes with a loss. The plant will stop making the Saturn Outlook by the end of the year. At about the same time, local autoworkers will begin assembling the Traverse.
Brian Fredline: "We're going to be scrambling between now and November. I don't know what the timeline is going to be, but it's going to be busy."
The extra work begins this summer. Union leaders say it's good news for laid off workers who will likely be called back to help retool the plant.
Brian Fredline: "It would be speculating now about how many and when, but at least we have a reasonably secure future and we're happy about that."
Happy, but carrying heavy hearts for thousands of other autoworkers who aren't so lucky.
Brian Fredline: "Nobody's high-fiving when 20,000 UAW members lose their job across the country."
That's why union leaders say they're staying guarded, knowing full well that car sales will drive their future. General Motors says it will offer some workers at the Tennessee plant the opportunity to move to Lansing to produce the Chevy traverse.