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Posted June 3, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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110 furloughed workers to lose jobs

IAC to ship production contract for GM pickups and SUVs to Mexico

By James Heffernan -- jheffernan@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- The loss of a contract to produce interior parts for a line of General Motors pickups and SUVs will mean the loss of 110 local jobs.

International Automotive Components will shift production of 35 injection molds for the GMT-900 line to Mexico by the end of July, according to the Web site of United Auto Workers Local 2999, which represents IAC's Strasburg plant.

The union was notified of the potential layoffs on May 12 under the federal WARN Act. The cuts, which are permanent, will come from the plant's 133 workers currently on furlough.

David Ladd, a spokesman for IAC North America, said in an e-mail earlier this month the move was being considered to bring the company "closer in proximity to our customers and reduce the overall cost of the products we produce."

The Strasburg IAC plant will continue to build interior parts for Ford, including the luxury Lincoln MKT and crossover Ford Flex, and it was recently awarded a contract to build consoles for the new 2010 Chevy Camaro. All three programs run through 2014.

The plant also builds front and rear interior door panels for the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. GM has announced plans to sell the Hummer, Saab and Saturn brands.

On May 19, local union workers voted overwhelmingly to extend their current labor contract for one year.

With both GM and Chrysler now under federal bankruptcy protection, automotive suppliers are bracing for an uncertain summer. American Axle, makers of drivetrains and chassis systems, said it expects to lose $250 million in revenue from the extended shutdown of GM and Chrysler plants this summer.

Lear Corp., which sold its North American interiors unit to IAC in 2006 and retains a minority interest in the company, reported a pre-tax loss of $257 million for the first quarter on a 44 percent drop in sales year over year. The company this week announced that is exercising a 30-day grace period on pending interest payments on its outstanding debts.

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