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Nexteer Automotive announces job cuts

Saginaw Co. facility affected
Looking out over Nexteer's facility in Buena Vista Twp. The company announced layoffs Thursday,...
Looking out over Nexteer's facility in Buena Vista Twp. The company announced layoffs Thursday, which will impact the auto parts supplier's Saginaw County workforce.(WJRT)
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 10:36 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) (07/16/2020) One of the region’s largest employers--Nexteer--announcing it would be forced to cut jobs at its US facilities, citing the coronavirus pandemic and other industry-wide challenges impacting auto makers.

Nexteer Automotive is a global steering and driveline business. The company has made its name as a parts supplier to the biggest auto makers, boasting 28 manufacturing plants as part of its worldwide portfolio. Nexteer is also one of the largest employers in Saginaw County, with more than five thousand workers on its payroll there.

“They are going to be making cuts into the non-hourly [workforce], which would be their regular salary and engineering [workers] at the Saginaw site,” related Tom Hurst, president of UAW Local 699, during a Thursday phone interview.

The exact number of local job cuts at Nexteer’s Buena Vista facility isn’t yet known. Tom Hurst oversees the union representing Nexteer’s hourly workers in Saginaw County.

“They haven’t explained to me in detail what these cuts are for or why,” explained Hurst.

Tom tells ABC 12 the union is also in the middle of contract negotiations, which, he says, are going well.

“So far, the company has listened very well, worked very well with the bargaining team and saved at least a couple hundred jobs,” related Hurst.

The announcement comes days after Governor Gretchen Whitmer warned failure to flatten the curve would mean “we could be forced to close down more of our businesses, including auto manufacturing plants that employ thousands of Michigan workers, jobs that our whole economy depends on.”

Though Nexteer’s statement stays tight-lipped on the company’s specific challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has led to uncertainty across the industry.  

“Production is slowing down at these assembly plants,” explained Hurst. “They’ve got people that need to make the budget solely through cutting their people down.”

Nexteer couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. No set date has been announced for the layoffs to begin, though Nexteer is reportedly working with those set to lose their jobs.

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