Chrysler to have 2 week shut down

March 13, 2008 3:48:14 PM PDT
Chrysler LLC is telling employees worldwide to take a mandatory two-week vacation in July. Chrysler informed employees of the plan in an e-mail sent to employees that was obtained by The Associated Press. Chrysler spokeswoman Mary Beth Heilprin confirms the e-mail was sent.

Chrysler plans a corporate-wide shutdown the weeks of July 7 and July 14. Heilprin says some employees may be asked to stay on to work on special projects.

While the shutdown is customary for assembly line workers, this marks the first time white collar office workers and salaried employees will be included.

"The interesting thing about this shutdown is that everybody is going to be using vacation time; they're not being shutdown and getting unemployment benefits, but they're using some of their vacation time," Professor Butkiewicz said.

The news comes at a time when the Newark Chrysler plant is already reduced to one shift, consisting of about 958 workers and those workers have been told the plant will be permanently idled in 2009.

The Newark plant is also scheduled to shutdown in June for retooling, which is a common occurrence at the plant.

The mandatory companywide vacation time in July models a practice already in place a General Motors. Like Chrysler, GM has been struggling to cut costs. Workers at Wilmington's Boxwood Road Plant were offered buyout packages as a way to reduce spending just last month

Chrysler says the shutdown should help it boost productivity and efficiency. Heilprin didn't have any details about why the decision was made.