GM's plan to cut 21,000 causes concern in Spring Hill
SPRING HILL, Tenn. - News that General Motors plans to cut 21,000 factory jobs by next year only adds to the worry in the town of Spring Hill.
The town, located 35 miles south of Nashville, is home to a GM plant that employs around 3,500 people and makes the Chevy Traverse.
Spring Hill workers can't say how they might be affected but worry just the same.
"Everyone is a little on edge," said Jay Tift, a 29-year GM worker. "You don't know what tomorrow brings, do you have job? Can you make your bills next month? ‘Cause no one knows."
Last week, the Spring Hill plant announced GM wants it to take a five week shutdown starting in June.
That, combined with Monday's announcement of layoffs rattles the nerves of local GM workers.
"They say we make some $80 an hour. [No one is] making that kind of money. I make about $32 an hour," said Tift, who works on machines used in the auto making. "You know 21,000 people are going to lose their jobs, but where? Makes it hard on everyone, but I don't want to see any of the other GM factories close either."
In addition to the job cuts, GM will phase out its storied Pontiac brand as part of a major restructuring effort needed to get more government aid.
The struggling automaker also says it will offer 225 shares of common stock for every $1,000 in notes held by bondholders as part of debt-for-equity swap.
GM is living on $15.4 billion in government loans and faces a June 1 deadline to restructure and get more government money.
If the restructuring doesn't satisfy the government, the company could go into bankruptcy protection.