IAC plant cuts put 31 local employees out of work

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This is the last week at work for 31 International Automotive Components employees.

The company notified the second-shift workers Monday that it had eliminated their jobs to make up for production slowdowns and cuts at Chrysler and the other "big three" American automakers, said IAC spokesman David Ladd. Their last day is Nov. 25.

Earlier this month, Chrysler announced it will cut 12,000 jobs next year, including dropping an entire shift at its Belvedere, Ill., plant.

The Belvedere facility is the biggest customer for IAC Greencastle, which manufactures doors and interior paneling, Ladd said.

Ladd said the company chose the week of Thanksgiving to notify its employees of the layoffs because executives only finalized the job cuts plan at the end of last week.

The employees will not be offered severance pay, though 16 of them will be considered for rehire if the plant adds more jobs, Ladd said.

Several employee interviewed by the BannerGraphic seemed to take the news of the lay offs in stride.

One employee, who did not want to give her name, said holiday season layoffs are just a fact of life in the automotive industry.

The long-time employees don't really fear for their jobs, since the company typically thins its ranks of the least-experienced employees first, she added.

Despite the turbulence in the industry, another employee, who also did not want to give his name, said most employees realize that the high pay and good benefits make IAC one of the best places to work in Greencastle.

IAC currently employs about 1,000 people in Greencastle and 17,000 across North America.

The Greencastle plant is one of several of the company's 39 North American operations that saw job cuts this week, Ladd said.

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