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GM Leeds Plant Will Not Reopen

January 15, 1990

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ United Auto Workers officials told several thousand idled workers at General Motors Corp.’s Leeds assembly plant that their indefinite layoff was likely to be permanent.

Plant and union officials told the workers Saturday that the company had eliminated the plant from consideration as a site to build a new line of light trucks.

″We told them we thought this meant the end,″ said Dennis Stanley, bargaining unit chairman for UAW Local 93. ″There is nothing else out there.″

The plant has been shut since April 1988, when 1,600 autoworkers were laid off because of slow car sales.

Officials have been trying to find a new product for the Leeds plant for the past 18 months, but union leaders learned Wednesday that the company had ruled out the plant.

GM officials have not determined where it will build the new truck line but they indicated no other products are being considered for the Leeds plant.

A UAW agreement with GM prohibits the closing of any plants until December.

″Nothing will be said until September,″ Stanley said. ″Then we’ll probably be told we’ll be closed.″

Leeds at one time employed more than 4,000 people to produce GM’s ″J- cars,″ or front-wheel-drive subcompacts. As sales declined and inventory accumulated in 1987, GM laid off 2,700 workers. The company idled the plant and laid off the remaining 1,600 workers in 1988.

Earlier this month, GM announced it was laying off 700 employees at its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan. That plant is the sole maker of the Pontiac Grand Prix.

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