Return Of 'Vampire' Shift Brings Hope To Auto Workers
MSNBC.COM - Anthony Pylant, an idled auto worker from Tennessee, was relieved and excited when he got a letter that a General Motors assembly plant in Flint, Mich., was adding a third shift.
"You don't know what you got until it's gone and man, we didn't realize what we had, you know, until we lost it," Pylant said.
In 2009, the Spring Hill, Tenn., GM plant where Pylant worked shut down. Pylant searched for work for two years, but nothing he found matched the money or benefits he had before he was laid off.
"It's sort of a pride thing," Pylant said. "It really hurt, so when this came up. It was like, I got to do what I know how to do, you know."
In November of last year, Pylant and two of his co-workers from the Tennessee plant moved into a sparse apartment in Flint, Mich.
"After a lot of crying and tears and packing up, here all three of us are in Michigan," Pylant said.
Pylant and his roommates, Dave Gray and Marcus Tyler, pack their lunches and travel to their 11 p.m. shift together five nights a week. They work on the assembly line until 7 a.m.
"You got to be a vampire, sleep during the day while everybody else is living their life," Pylant said.
The third shift in Flint is one of five places where General Motors has added a graveyard shift since it received a $50 billion bailout from the government in 2009.
Nationwide, other automakers have added third shifts as well. In Belvidere, Ill., Chrysler recently announced plans to add a third shift by the summer. Ford recently added a third shift to a plant in Chicago.
"We have studied third shifts and we're very careful about when we put them on. The last thing we want to do is put on a third shift, bring people in from around the country, disrupt their lives, bring them here and then something happens," said Larry Zahner, manufacturing manager for General Motors North America. "So we've been very careful assuring when we put the third shift on, it's going to stick."
Two years ago, GM shut down the third shift at the Flint assembly
plant after the automaker was forced to file for bankruptcy and ask the
government for help. GM pared down pension packages, got rid of
thousands of jobs, hundreds of dealerships and watched their stock price
tumble. click here to read the full article
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