Nexteer confirms layoffs to salary, hourly, contract workers

BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (11/26/19) - Layoffs are coming to Saginaw County's largest employer.

UAW Local 699 President Tom Hurst posted on the union's Facebook page that 130 workers are impacted by temporary layoffs.

However, the company confirms to ABC12 News that the workforce reduction involves salary, hourly and contract workers.

As we first told you on Monday on ABC12 News at 11, workers at Nexteer Automotive learned about the company's plans on Friday.

Tuesday we received this statement from Dennis Hoeg, Nexteer Vice President and North America Division President:

"We are committed to our employees and the communities in which we work and raise our families. Therefore, we must secure Nexteer's long-term sustainability, which includes two main efforts: Transforming our Saginaw Driveline business to improve efficiency and cost competitiveness and rightsizing operations to align with customer volumes and program needs.

Unfortunately, we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce in some salary, hourly and contract positions. We take this very seriously and respect the privacy of those recently separated from the company. We remain focused on our shared future by providing exceptional quality and technical support to our customers and by winning future business for our Saginaw site."

We've requested more information from Nexteer's communications team about just how many workers are impacted by this round of layoffs, and are waiting for a reply.

According to Saginaw Future, earlier this year Nexteer employed 5,300 people, making it the county's largest employer, followed by Covenant HealthCare.

The plant has been around since 1906 and employed many more in its prime.

"Vibrant, it was a booming industry at one time, and my pops, my dad put in almost about 40 years here," said Ivan Jackson who grew up nearby. "It was a well-paying job, and a job somebody can, families can live off of."

Jackson said not only did the plant provide job security, but it inspired kids in the area. "My little brother's came up they were in the robotics programs."

He's saddened to hear of the layoffs just before the holidays.

"Ghost town. It was, parking lot used to be full. Lot of events up here. We'd come see cars under the tents and all that. Just not much of anything any more," Jackson said.

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