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Statewide labor shortage extends to GM manufacturing complex in Flint

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 7:33 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - As production increases at the General Motors Flint Assembly plant, a new problem affect the facility.

The United Auto Workers says the GM Flint manufacturing complex needs hundreds of temporary workers, so the jobs are there. But the applicants are not, even with the offer of a good wage.

UAW Local 598 Chairman Eric Welter, who represents works at Flint Assembly, said the plant needs 400 to 500 more workers right now. But he said the plant is struggling to find enough workers like many other businesses across Mid-Michigan.

”To keep up with this high production schedule, we need a lot of extra help,” Welter said.

He’s never seen the worker shortage this bad at Flint Assembly.

“Never. I was absolutely surprised about six weeks ago when we found applicants,” Welter said.

Unlike some industries, he said low pay for temporary GM workers is not an issue. Starting pay at Flint Assembly is $16.67 an hour. Many temporary jobs could lead to permanent positions at GM.

“It’s really been surprising, because we’ve been really insulated from that at General Motors mostly and I know I’ve talked to other business owners that have been having a hard time with getting workers and we are now suffering the same problem,” Welter said.

With summer here, he said permanent workers will be looking for time off on vacation so the plant will need to do something to attract applicants.

“We’ve gone through a number of measures to try and generate more and we are going to try to continue with more unique things to get people signed up,” Welter said.

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