General Motors To Reopen Framingham Plant In May
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) _ General Motors Corp. plans to reopen its assembly plant here in May and rehire about 1,800 of the 3,700 workers who lost their jobs when it closed in November, a GM official said Tuesday.
Company officials were aiming for May 9 as a startup date, but the reopening could be delayed an additional week, said GM Regional Manager Joseph Nedrow. One shift would return to work, he said.
″We’re hopeful ... we’re going to have a second shift″ later in the year, depending on whether car sales pick up further, Nedrow said in a telephone interview. A formal announcement on the startup will be made Wednesday, he said.
Nedrow spoke shortly after Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said he had been told that GM would reopen the plant May 9. A spokesman for Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis said state officials also had been informed the plant would reopen.
GM closed the plant Nov. 31, blaming sluggish sales of the midsized Chevrolet Celebrity and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera assembled at Framingham.
At the time, the company said it hoped to reopen the plant in the spring. Industry analysts had predicted such a move was unlikely because the plant is nearly 40 years old and projections call for a continued decline in sales of the models made there.
Attempts to reach officials of United Auto Workers Local 422 for comment were not immediately successful. Telephone calls to the union office were not answered.
Dukakis, a presidential candidate, praised GM in a statement issued by his office for keeping its pledge to reopen in the spring.
″But since this is only a partial reopening, I am still very concerned about the workers who are not returning to the jobs at the plant.″
″I commend GM for this decision,″ Kennedy said. ″I will continue to work with GM and the UAW to resume full production as soon as possible.″