St. Louis Public Radio News
11:18 am
Mon March 9, 2009

Wentzville van plant to reopen after temporary shutdown

St. Louis – The Wentzville General Motors plant was scheduled to reopen Monday after three weeks of worker furloughs.

G.M. closed the plant, which makes commercial vans, to help reduce inventory because demand for the vehicles is low.

United Auto Workers Union spokesman Tom Brune said the temporary shut down will help solve the inventory problems in the short run, but he expects the issue to return.

"It's bound to help, not building vans for three weeks instead of building them," Brune said. "And we just took a line speed cut on top of that, so it's also cost us some production. We've actually got another week, the week of March 29th, is also scheduled to be down"

The cuts affected about 1,800 hourly workers and 140 salaried employees.

Brune said the plant will come back on line permanently only if demand returns and remains steady.