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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Local parts maker idles 200 workers for 2 weeks

Saturday, October 13, 2007

International Automotive Components (Lear Corp.) temporarily laid off about 200 employees in Greencastle earlier this week because of turbulence in the car industry.

The employees all left voluntarily Monday, IAC spokesman David Ladd said, and will be back at their jobs after two weeks.

Managers at IAC in Greencastle were forced to cut the plant's work force after Chrysler idled its Belvidere, Ill., factory for two weeks, citing sluggish sales of the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot -- all vehicles made at the plant. Greencastle IAC supplies interior trim to the northern Illinois assembly line, Ladd said.

All companies that supply parts to Belvidere have been forced to do the same, he added.

The spokesman for Dearborn, Mich.-based IAC said employees signed up for the layoff because it gave them a chance to have a two-week vacation, even if it was unpaid.

Managers at the Greencastle facility, which employs about 1,000 people, declined to comment for this story.

Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory said these types of layoffs are not uncommon in the highly-competitive automotive industry.

If a car manufacturer temporarily shuts down a plant because of slow production or assembly line changes, the company's suppliers must cease production as well.

Workers picketed Chrysler for six hours earlier this week when contract negations between the United Autoworkers and representatives for the privately-held Detroit car manufacturer stalled.

They have since hammered out a tentative agreement.

Workers at the Belivdere plant, however, did not strike and the temporary closure announcement came at the beginning of the month, before talks began to crumble.

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