US Auto Industry Feels Effects of Japan Quake

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Japan’s Sendai earthquake disrupted work in that country, shutting down factories, which supply parts to the United States. Thanks to hi-tech supply chain issues, car parts are missing and U.S. factories are beginning to shut down. Last week, General Motors stopped production at its Shreveport Louisiana production facility. This week, the Detroit based car company laid off 59 of its 623 full time employees at its Tonawanda New York production facility — before ultimately halting all production. All of these shutdowns were due to shortages of parts that are produced in Japan.

Bob Coleman and Doug Ebey are both auto workers who say that they had no idea that so many parts came from Japan in the first place and were not prepared for these sobering shutdowns. Bob Coleman is the shop chairman of United Auto Workers Local 774 in the Tonawanda GM plant, and Doug Ebey is the head of the United Auto Workers Local 2166 in Shreveport, Louisiana.