General Motors joins Honda in asking salaried workers to work on the assembly lines due to a shortage of personnel. A new report from Automotive News states the manufacturer has salaried volunteers assembling vehicles at its Wentzville, Missouri, plant, where the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks are built, plus the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana commercial vans.
Jim Cain, a spokesman for GM, told the online publication the number of salaried workers on the assembly lines varies from just a few to more than two dozens. The factory usually employs approximately 4,100 salaried workers and hourly workers and currently has ads running locally for about 200 more temps.
"We have been able to maintain three shifts to meet customer and dealer demand, so the impact on our inventory rebuild should be negligible," Cain told Automotive News earlier this week. "We're grateful for the support we have received as the plant works through a very difficult staffing challenge."
Not everyone is happy with the transfer, however. While Honda generally doesn’t have to deal with a union in making such a move, General Motors does. And the United Auto Workers claims that appointing salaried employees instead of hourly UAW members violates the GM-UAW labor agreement.
"We have strenuously objected to this violation of the contract," UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg commented. "The local union has started the grievance process." GM’s spokesman said the company will need volunteers until UAW workers can move to the Wentzville plant from other factories.