Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016
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GM to lay off 135 workers at Defiance Casting plant

Company cites drop in demand for iron parts

DEFIANCE — General Motors Co. will lay off 135 employees from its Defiance Casting plant, the automaker said Thursday.

A company spokesman said the shift toward fuel-efficient engine technologies that often include include lightweight components has reduced demand for some of the cast-iron engine parts made in Defiance.

“GM is committed to the delivery of top quality, fuel efficient engines and components for our customers,” the company said in a statement. “To enable this, the product mix of our newer engines has more aluminum content.”

The Defiance plant makes cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, and crankshafts for a variety of GM engines. The plant does make some aluminum parts in addition to cast-iron components.

GM said 48 of the 135 employees who will be laid off were temporary employees whose assignment will end at the end of September. The company said it commonly uses temporary labor for cyclical production needs.

The remainder of workers who will be laid off includes 55 regular permanent employees and 32 skilled trade employees. A phased layoff plan will be in place by the end of September and will be finished by the end of the year.

As of June, the plant employed about 1,300 people. Of those, 1,129 were hourly employees.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.

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