In what could be a devastating move for the Midwest auto industry, GM has indicated it will close 20 plants temporarily early in 2009. Six of those plants are in Michigan with the Allen County GM auto plant also set for closing. The GM plant in Allen County will go off line the first two weeks of March 2009. The GM workers affected by the moves are eligible to receive up to 72 percent of their gross pay covered by state unemployment compensation and supplemental unemployment benefits paid by the automaker.
Get ready for a bumpy ride. Those workers spend money in the local economies, and, no doubt, will cut back their spending. The cut back in spending will impact local businesses and their ability to cover their expenses. In today’s economic setting, no one is unconnected – what impacts one location impacts the surrounding area.
Whether you agree with the auto loan package or not, GM’s decision will have a devastating effect in the Midwest – even if it is for only two weeks. Those weeks will be long weeks for the auto workers and the region.