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Layoffs tied to chip shortage coming to GM Tonawanda

UAW President tells 2 On Your Side all three shifts at the plant will be furloughed for at least one week.

DETROIT — The global shortage of computer chips is getting worse, forcing automakers to temporarily close factories including those that build popular pickup trucks. General Motors announced Thursday that it would pause production at seven North American plants during the next two weeks, including two that make the company’s top-selling Chevrolet Silverado pickup. 

UAW President for GM Tonawanda Wence Valentin tells 2 On Your Side's Ron Plants all three shifts involved with the heavy duty and 8-cylinder lines at the River Road plant, or about 550 workers, will be laid off for at least a week starting next week. As of March, 2021, GM's website says the plant currently employs 989 hourly and 178 salaried workers.

The plant produces engines for GM, including V8 engines used in the automaker's full size trucks. 

Ford will stop making pickups at its Kansas City Assembly Plant for the next two weeks. Shifts will be cut at two more truck plants in Dearborn, Michigan, and Louisville, Kentucky. Industry analysts say the delta variant of the novel coronavirus has hit employees at chip factories in southeast Asia hard, forcing some plants to close. That’s worsened a chip shortage that was starting to improve earlier in the summer.

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