Tennessee GM plant to lay off 680, end 3rd shift amid virus

General Motors says output reduced amid pandemic

FILE - This Oct. 16, 2019, file photo shows a sign at a General Motors facility in Langhorne, Pa. U.S. auto safety investigators have found no apparent defect with the passenger air bag seat sensors in thousands of older General Motors sedans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration denied a 2013 petition filed by a private crash investigator seeking a formal investigation of full-size cars including the Chevrolet Impala from the 2004 to 2010 model years. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) (Matt Rourke, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SPRING HILL, Tenn.General Motors said Wednesday it will lay off 680 workers at its Tennessee assembly plant and eliminate the facility’s third shift, moves the company says are due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement about the Spring Hill plant, General Motors said it believes the best way to react to the unforeseen change in market conditions due to COVID-19 is to reduce output and continue to operate on two shifts effective immediately.

The layoffs are effective July 31. The plant employs 3,700 people total and has union representation through the United Auto Workers.

"This adjustment allows the plant to maintain stable production, protect the value of our brands in any sales environment, and to provide the smallest impact to plant employment going forward,” GM spokeswoman Katy Teer said in a statement.

GM and other automakers temporarily shut down U.S. factories starting in March due to COVID-19. The Spring Hill facility’s first shift went back on May 18, and the second shift returned June 1.