‘I was actually considering looking for other work’: Delta GM plant re-opens just in time for some employees

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Delta, Twp., Mich. — The Delta Township GM plant has been shut down for 11 weeks. That whole time employees have been on hold, wondering when they’d get to get back to work. For some, like Jason Peek, he had his eyes elsewhere

“With it being so uncertain I was actually considering looking for other work because unemployment only lasts so long,” Peek said.

Peek was one of more than 2,000 employees waiting for work. UAW Local 602 President Mike Huerta had to continuously tell them, even he didn’t know when they’d be back, but once he got the final word it was happening Monday, he breathed a sigh of relief.

“It’s been a little like the movie groundhog’s day,” Huerta said. “It just kept repeating over and over again but after 11 weeks we’re ecstatic to be back to work, doing what we do best and that’s building the world’s best vehicles.”

While Peek is glad to be back, he’s still full of uncertainty

“We had the shutdown for the virus in 2020 but that was eventually we will be back,” Peek said. “With this, it’s chips and metal and parts and who knows what’s going on, so you start thinking about stuff.”   

Peek’s concern is the microchip shortage hasn’t ended. However, the plant director told 6 News today, he’s optimistic.

“Based on what we see from a look ahead standpoint, we will be able to run for the balance of the year,” said Satya Veerapaneni.

That’s music to the ears of local business owners like Tamara Farrell who says her restaurant is all but linked to the plant.

“When GM has something affect them, every factory around here is affected and it’s a trickle-down effect,” Farrell said. “We’re affected, my employees, my wait staff is affected.”

Two years ago, GM went from three shifts down to 2. Farrell changed her hours in order to reflect that.

“We’re like a family here,” she said. “Some of my regulars have been counting the days to be back here.”

As for peek, he says his goal is to stay and ride this out.

“I’m just trying to make the best of it,” Peek said. “Hopefully if we go down again we have a better idea of how long and what’s going on.”

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